Audio and infotainment group Harman International Industries (aka HARMAN) has picked up Aha Mobile, a Palo Alto-based provider of on-demand mobile and location-based Internet content services, the company announced this morning.
The terms are not being disclosed, but the startup is merely 2 years old and just raised $3 million from Venrock in May 2009, so we’re assuming this is a good exit for the fledgling company and its sole investor.
Aha Mobile specializes in converting Web-based content to streaming mobile radio in order to allow users to safely access news, entertainment and social media via in-vehicle infotainment systems or smartphones. The company’s audio publishing platform blends user preferences, behavior, and predictive search technologies to deliver a personalized information experience that even adapts based on the user’s expected traffic corridor.
Its iPhone app, Aha Radio, basically lets you listen to your Facebook friends’ boring status updates, Ashton Kutcher’s latest tweets and your favorite podcasts so you can keep your eyes firmly on the road. It also boasts integrated speech-to-text technology and is capable of streaming free customized traffic reports based on your location.
Dinesh C. Paliwal, HARMAN Chairman, President and CEO, in a statement says Aha Mobile’s technology will effectively be deployed by the company.
“Delivering safe and convenient Internet access to mobile users is one of the biggest challenges facing the infotainment industry,” said Paliwal. “In particular, the rapid growth of social networking through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and others must be carefully managed in the automotive environment to prevent driver distraction.”
In addition to planned integration with HARMAN systems, Aha Mobile says it will continue working with third parties to enable customized Web content on their products by leveraging its proprietary platform.