Mobile Phone Joysticks get money, yes really!

The good folks from MoCoNews report that Boston-based firm ZeeToo whose business is the production of mobile joysticks (yes, you read that correctly) raised a first round worth a respectable $6.9m. We read that "the company’s Zeemote controllers communicate with mobiles via Bluetooth, and enable exchange of data and applications with the handsets. The company has also developed other controllers, including a trackball controller for use as a mouse on a mobile phone, an accelerometer based controller for games that are controlled with motion and gestures, and a special car keyfob designed for use in location-based services (LBS) applications."

I must admit that I am rather hesitant to believe in this venture's success although I naturally wish them all the very best. At least, respectable mobile game developer Finblade (the guys who founded and run IOMO, which was then sold to Infospace) developed a game that is "powered" by the controller. However, I am not sure if people will get used to this ("do I have everything I need? Wallet, keys, phone, errm, joystick?"), and I must also say that I don't think the video in the previous link would appear to entice people into embarking onto that adventure...

Twistbox reverse merger

Twistbox has undertaken a reverse merger into a shell traded on the pink sheets (the unregulated stock trading system). It entered into a respective agreement with Mandalay Media, Inc., a company that was inactive since 2005. Twistbox is a spinoff from Waat Media, the mobile "late night entertainment" company. It was originally formed as a merger of Waat's mobile game activities with German mobile game developer Charismatix. Since the spinoff in 2006, the company had raised about $32.5 million in funding, from Spark Capital, ValueAct Capital (cf. here) and some strategic investors, which helped it evolve into an internationally-active mobile content publisher, with branded WAP sites, video clips and games seemingly the spearheads.

The management team seems to remain on board. The move presumably serves as an exit for existing investors and - hopefully - a source for fresh capital. No word on further activities though, which is a bit of a pity. I shall therefore assume that my previous post still is valid.