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IMI Mobile Acquires Phone Backup Company Mobyko; Why?

logo-mobykoHyderabad based Mobile VAS company IMI Mobile has acquired Mobyko, a social phone backup service, reports mocoNews. Mobyko allows users to back up and sync their mobile Address Book, Calendar, Photos, Videos, Texts etc., and the deal appears to have been done much earlier, given that this twitter update on June 17th 2009 from Mobyko suggests that “Mobyko / IMIMobile London looking for JavaScript / FrontEnd developer”. We’re awaiting a response from Vishwanath Alluri, CEO & Chairman of IMI Mobile, and will update when we have more.

This is the second acquisition by IMI Mobile in the last year – they had acquired a music aggregator DX3 in November 2008. Mobyko was founded by Julian Saunders in 2006, and was commercially launched in February 2007. The iPhone address book application was launched in December 2007. The phone backup services are paid, and priced at GBP 24.99 (approximately Rs. 1955 at current rates), irrespective of the country; paypal is being used as a payment method for Mobyko.

Mobyko Features

Mobyko looks slick – the calendar allows users add birthdays and to do notes, set up reminders and sync online and mobile, and sync. The feature that looks really interesting is the event add, which can be sent to multiple users. Photos and videos can be uploaded via the mobile. Key is the ability to back up phone content like contacts and text messages, though, and also use the desktop for sending messages. In terms of social network integration, at present, there is only an integration with Facebook, as per Mobyko’s site. The Facebook application was launched in March 2008.

OnMobile’s Acquisition Of Phone Backup Service VoxMobili

Mobyko’s acquisition by IMI Mobile is the second such acquisition of a phone backup service by an Indian company. A couple of years ago, BSE listed OnMobile Global acquired VoxMobili SA for an undisclosed amount, for powering a white labeled phone backup service.

Mobyko’s Problem

The problem for Mobyko and IMI Mobile, and indeed one for OnMobile and VoxMobili is that it’s a space that is getting crowded with free services: Vodafone acquired Zyb.com, a free service that allows users to back up contacts, and Nokia is also providing phone backup as a feature with it’s services suite Ovi. I’m using both. Also in the game is Google Sync, which allows users to sync contacts and calendars. Online publishers like Rediff also offer mobile phone contact backup with their mobile application – the space certainly appears to be getting commoditised.

Sure, Mobyko offers much more than just mobile phone backup, but would you pay Rs. 1955 extra for the ability to back up content?


— IMI Mobile Acquires Music Distributor DX3 For Entering The European Market

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