Word has reached me that Netherlands-based Nimbuzz, the mobile VoIP and IM startup that extends into social networks, has raised $15 million in a second round led by Naspers/MIH, with Nimbuzz’s other major existing investor Mangrove Capital Partners also participating. It’s already had $10 million from Mangrove (the original Skype investor). Apparently deals with 10 major social networks and three operators are already on the table. The latter see these kinds of apps as a way of boosting data use and therefore revenues. The cash will be used to extend to Windows Mobile, iPhone and Android. They are looking at a million registered mobile users so far.
Back in May Nimbuzz launched Java and Symbian client software which will work across a 500 handsets and 50 countries. This is good for emerging markets where PCs are just too expensive, however, Nimbuzz may have to address thefact that it’s client software is about a megabyte download, which is way too high.
Nimbuzz offers free mobile VoIP, conference calling, IM and group chat and photo and file sending across multiple IM communities, including Skype, MSN, Google Talk, Yahoo!, AIM, Jabber and ICQ, plus 23 social networks, including apps/widgets for Facebook and Myspace. There are about a dozen startups offering IM to VoIP over mobile, taking advantage of the increase in flat-rate data plans. They include Mig33 (which also offers IM photo sharing, VoIP and social networking features), Fring and Truphone, among others.