Social mobile app wins $13m financing

GeoSentric, a developer of GPS-linked social networking technology, has today secured $13.1 million in an round led by Horizon Group and Schroders Private Bank. It has a consumer proposition called GyPSii which uses geo-location software to connect people to people, and people to places. GyPSii is currently in pre-launch mode. GeoSentric will use the funds to expand its marketing and sales presence outside of its based in Amsterdam and one off the first markets it is likely to hit is the USocial networking has been threatening to mobilise properly for a while now, and I’m not just talking about Facebook’s mobile version. The Golden Goose in this space is going to be a ‘three-dimensional’ service which mashes up both an online network, location-based information and GPS. This is the kind of thing GeoSentric could well achieve if it plays its cards right.

The end game is to market a mobile and web client which is operating system and operator agnostic – or perhaps white-labelled with an operator.

GeoSentric is headed up by CEO Dan Harple a vetern in Internet space who, aside from several startups in recent years, was once Senior Vice President at Netscape. He says the “original target was to raise $5.5 million” but interest meant they had to increase the size of the round. The firms also counts Dr. Andries van Dam, a renowned computer scientist with fifteen years experience as a member of the Microsoft Research Technical Advisory Board.

This convergence of social networking, content and location is a big trend. Last year Nokia acquired Gate5 to start exploring just this, and is including social networking as part if its recently launched Go Play / Ovi strategy. Here in the UK social mobile firm Playtxt is poised to re-launch as Rummble and one-man startup BuddyPing has also been trying to crack the ‘social location’ issue with triangulation. It’s a hot sector.

GeoSentric – the new name for Geoconnections, which was acquired by Finland-based Benefon – is also developing consumer and business applications that integrate a mobile user’s world with their desktop, digital television and media players.