Kajeet raises $36.8M in series-B round of funding
The first pay-as-you-go MVNO for tweens secures one of the largest recent venture capital financing rounds.
BETHESDA, MD, SEPTEMBER 10, 2007 - After making its national retail debut just six months ago, kajeet® (www.kajeet.com) announced today that it has secured $36.8 million in Series B venture capital funding. Draper Fisher Jurvetson Growth Fund (DFJ Growth Fund) led the financing, which will enable the company to continue expanding its unparalleled wireless service for tweens, teens and their parents.
Existing investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Fidelity Ventures, Gabriel Venture Partners and InterWest Partners, also participated in this financing. Randy Glein from DFJ Growth Fund has joined the board of directors at kajeet with the closing of the Series B.
“kajeet has created a powerful wireless service that addresses the unique needs of the large and growing youth segment of the market,” said Barry Schuler, Managing Director of DFJ Growth Fund and former Chairman & CEO of AOL. “We are thrilled to partner with kajeet and will strive to help them expand their leadership position in this important market category.”
“We are excited about this market as a growth category in wireless, the validation and business momentum demonstrated by kajeet since launching their service, and the veteran team the company has assembled,” added Randy Glein, Director, DFJ Growth Fund.
Founded in 2003, kajeet is the first pay-as-you-go cell phone service made from a kid’s point of view. Unique among pay-as-you-go services, the kajeet Configurator offers numerous ways for tweens, teens and their families to tailor the service to meet their needs. kajeet lets tweens and teens customize their mobile experience in ways that suit their world while offering their parents comfort about the role mobile technology plays in their lives. The kajeet service and phones are available at Best Buy, Limited Too and Longs Drugs Stores and at www.kajeet.com.
“Adding DFJ to our existing group of world-class investors marks a major milestone for kajeet. Everyone at kajeet is energized by our rapid pace of accomplishments and our positive reception in the marketplace,” said Daniel Neal, kajeet CEO and Founder. “With the support of our investors, we will further strengthen our service offering and retail distribution. Those steps will in turn deliver a totally customizable wireless service to kids and parents when they’re actively talking about cell phone ownership at a unique and powerful lifestage – the tween and teen years.”
“kajeet is pleased to meet our full funding needs at this early stage in the company’s existence,” added David Collier, Vice President of Finance and Business Operations for kajeet. “Our investors understand the needs we’re addressing for both kids and parents. It’s great to have investors who are as enthusiastic as our customers and those of us who work at kajeet.”
About DFJ Growth Fund
Draper Fisher Jurvetson Growth Fund invests in revenue-stage technology companies that are expanding rapidly and are well-positioned to be leaders in large markets. Draper Fisher Jurvetson is a leading venture capital firm with global presence through a network of affiliated funds, with offices in more than 30 cities around the world and more than $5 billion in capital commitments. DFJ's mission is to identify, serve and provide capital for extraordinary entrepreneurs anywhere who are determined to change the world. Over the past twenty years, DFJ has been proud to back over 500 companies across many sectors including such industry changing catalysts as Hotmail (acquired by MSFT), Baidu (BIDU), Skype (acquired by EBAY), EnerNOC (ENOC), Focus Media (FMCN), Mobile 365 (acquired by Sybase), xFire (acquired by Viacom), United Online (UNTD), Overture (acquired by YHOO), Interwoven (IWOV), Four11 (acquired by YHOO), and Parametric (PMTC). For more information, please visit www.dfjgrowth.com and www.dfj.com.
About Bessemer Venture Partners
Bessemer Venture Partners is a global investment group with offices in Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, Mumbai and Shanghai. As the oldest venture capital practice in the United States, Bessemer has partnered as an active, hands-on investor in Ciena, Ingersoll Rand, Parametric, Skype, Staples, VeriSign and W.R. Grace and over 100 other companies that have gone public. To learn more, visit www.bvp.com.
About Fidelity Ventures
Fidelity Ventures invests in technology companies at the “Go-To-Market” stage. Its 40-year track record includes hundreds of successful investments in the consumer, communications, systems and software markets. Fidelity Ventures is distinguished by the ability to accelerate market adoption for its portfolio companies’ offerings, and by a global network of senior technology and business executives. Fidelity Ventures actively manages over $800 million from offices in Boston and London. Sister fund Fidelity Asia Ventures manages over $220 million from Shanghai and Hong Kong. For more information, visit www.fidelityventures.com.
About Gabriel Venture Partners
Gabriel Venture Partners® is an early-stage venture capital firm committed to fostering innovation by actively assisting entrepreneurs in technology and technology-enabled businesses. Gabriel seeks investment opportunities in capital-efficient companies that have the potential to be market leaders. Gabriel is based in Silicon Valley and has over $260 million under management. Gabriel's investment team consists of seasoned technology entrepreneurs and industry executives, each with international operating experience and strong domain expertise. Representative investments include Placeware (acquired by Microsoft), NetScaler (acquired by Citrix), Iridigm (acquired by Qualcomm), LVL7 (acquired by Broadcom), NeoPath (acquired by Cisco) and IPWireless (acquired by Nextwave Wireless).
About InterWest Partners
InterWest Partners (www.interwest.com), founded in 1979, is a leading diversified venture capital firm focused on building long-term relationships with entrepreneurs and portfolio companies. Currently investing its ninth fund (IW IX), a $600 million fund, InterWest has raised more than $2 billion of capital since inception. InterWest has fifteen investing partners in Menlo Park, CA, and Dallas, TX, who bring together deep domain knowledge in life sciences and information technology.
The firm's investments in life sciences include: Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Corporation (ASPV), Corixa (CRXA; acquired by GlaxoSmithKline, GSK), Epicor Medical (acquired by Saint Jude Medical, STJ), Inspire Pharmaceuticals (ISPH), IntraLase (ILSE; acquired by Advanced Medical Optics, EYE), Myogen (MYOG; acquired by Gilead, GILD), Spinal Dynamics (acquired by Medtronic, MDT) and TheraSense (THER; acquired by Abbott Labs, ABT).
The firm's investments in information technology include: CIENA (CIEN), Copper Mountain Networks (CMTN), Crystal Semiconductor (acquired by Cirrus Logic, CRUS), Cyrix (CYRX; acquired by National Semiconductor (NSM), Lightera (acquired by CIENA), PlaceWare (acquired by Microsoft, MSFT), SiTera (acquired by Vitesse, VTSS), Silicon Graphics (SGI), Stratacom (STRM; acquired by Cisco, CSCO) and Xilinx (XLNX).
Kajeet, the cell phone service made for kids, is based in Bethesda, MD, but kids are the center of our universe. Kajeet keeps parents talking with their children and teens with online parental controls and kid-friendly features. With kajeet, there are no pesky contracts or surprise bills. Parents can find kajeet phones online at kajeet.com.