Newly created BlackBerry Partners Fund invests in mobile travel service
Lod, Israel, (October 29, 2008) — WorldMate, Inc., the industry leader in mobile travel services with over 1.5 million active customers worldwide, today announced it has secured $8 million dollars in a funding round led by the BlackBerry Partners Fund. The BlackBerry Partners Fund joins other notable investors including Motorola Ventures and several world-renowned angel investors who’ve previously invested in WorldMate through its parent company, MobiMate Ltd.
The WorldMate service acts as a personal travel assistant and companion, providing frequent fliers all the services they need at home, work or on the go. The free WorldMate Live application automatically synchronizes an itinerary between a traveler’s mobile device and personal Web site, and offers a wide variety of contextual travel tools and resources. The service also tracks every trip and guides travelers along by “pushing” real-time alerts about schedule updates and changes, including flight delays and cancellations.
The most recent addition to the WorldMate Live service is a hotel booking service available through affiliation with Hotels.com. This service allows members to quickly and securely book hotels directly on their mobile phones. The service considers the precise location of travelers’ meetings, as well as their personal preferences in suggesting hotels that meet their needs. To date, over 50% of WorldMate Live hotel bookings are made within 24 hours prior to arrival and one-third are made the same day.
WorldMate will use the capital to establish its corporate headquarters in the U.S. and continue to advance its position as the preeminent mobile travel service. The Company plans to bolster its marketing and business development efforts and further enhance the WorldMate product franchise by building upon and expanding beyond its relationships with mobile industry leaders around the world, including Research in Motion, Nokia, Motorola and many others.
“We share the BlackBerry Partners Fund’s vision for a mobile internet business based on meaningful, valuable and profitable consumer experiences and are honored that they consider us one of the companies spear-heading this vision,” said Nadav Gur, CEO of WorldMate. “We’ve been instrumental in helping the travel industry enter the mobile space. This funding, as well as our association with BlackBerry, will help us take our leadership in this segment to the next level of commercial success.”
“Accounting for approximately 40% of e-commerce sales, travel represents a huge opportunity for mobile, especially as the market matures and more advanced phones become commonplace,” said John Albright Co-Managing Partner of the BlackBerry Partners Fund. “With the leadership position WorldMate has established in mobile travel, the BlackBerry Partners Fund is eager to assist the company expand its reach and take advantage of the significant opportunities that lay ahead.”