Welcome back to Baby Breakerdom! This week's quest to uncover budding Rule Breakers finds TV in the palm of your hand and marketing at your feet.
First up this week is MobiTV, which offers TV service through your mobile phone, personal digital assistant, or laptop. On Thursday, the firm announced $30 million more in financing from a third round of funding. New investors included Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE ) and media giant Hearst.
Interestingly, that $30 million joined $70 million received earlier from a series of mostly Silicon Valley venture investors. What's the $100 million for? A company statement said the money would be used to build out new network technologies such as WiMAX.
That's understandable. WiMAX, which is supported by Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) and others, is widely considered a potential replacement technology for the current cellular network, because it would offer long-range access to broadband connections. That, in turn, makes the idea of streaming live TV -- or any digital media, frankly -- onto a portable device far more plausible.
Of course, MobiTV isn't the only one with a horse in the WiMAX race. Intel and Motorola (NYSE: MOT ) are so committed to the technology that, together, they poured $900 million into WiMAX communications provider Clearwire.
But that's by no means a guarantee that MobiTV will have a stable delivery platform. And even if it does, is there really a market for watching TV on your phone? Or, for that matter, your laptop? I'd say so. Each morning before I begin to write, I catch up on news from the night before via video available over the Web. I'm hardly alone; MobiTV claims more than a million subscribers to its service.
In other words, mobile content is coming, Fool. And it soon may be king.
Next up is IntelliMat, which VentureWire says received $5 million in first-round funding to market a floormat designed to display digital advertisements. Frankly, I find the idea a little goofy. But the technology is impressive; using a flat screen, wireless networking, and ingenuity, the company has created a display that can be walked on or rolled over as it offers messages to buyers at the point of sale.
Call it a consequence of the TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO ) effect. Now that TV ads are being increasingly being zapped by the itchy-trigger-finger set, marketers have been forced to become more creative. IntelliMat could exploit the trend.
But, then again, the idea of a pitchman looking up at you from between your legs could be so creepy that consumers decide that Madison Avenue has finally gone too far. Whichever occurs, this company ought to be very interesting to watch.
That's all for now. See you back here next week when we continue the quest to find the next ultimate growth stock.
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Fool contributorTim Beyersdidn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. Get the skinny on all the stocks he owns by checking Tim's Foolprofile. Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. TiVo is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. The Motley Fool'sdisclosure policyis a rebel with a cause.