MobStac Raises $2 Million In Series B To Help Brands Leverage Mobile Commerce

MobStac, a Bangalore-based startup that helps publishers build and manage their mobile websites and apps, has raised $2 million in Series B funding from Accel Partners and Cisco.

With the latest financing, MobStac will expand its existing cloud platform to build mobile websites for consumer brands looking to sell their products on mobile phones. MobStac already has four beta customers using its new platform, the startup’s co-founder Sharat Potharaju tells TechCrunch. For its existing mobile content platform, the startup counts some of the top Indian media houses, including The Hindu and Times Internet, among its customers.

Potharaju started MobStac along with his childhood friend Ravi Pratap M in 2009, after raising around $75,000 in seed funding from a bunch of angel investors including batch mates from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Later, in June 2011, MobStac raised its Series A funding of around $400,000 from Accel and the Mumbai Angels. The latest round brings MobStac’s total venture financing to $3.1 million.

Cisco, which has invested $1 million in the startup, is betting huge on enterprise mobility, and MobStac is hoping to gain from its backing.

“Cisco’s investment is a great endorsement for our technology platform and also strongly revalidates the need for a solution like MobStac especially in the enterprise business segment that Cisco’s customers fall into,” said Potharaju.

MobStac’s rivals include Vancouver-based Mobify and San Francisco-headquartered Moovweb that raised $16 million in March last year from several investors including Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim. As more consumer brands push aggressively to beef up their mobile channels, these startups are seeing huge revenue opportunity. According to Forrester, mobile commerce is expected to reach $31 billion by 2016. ComScore said in August last year that smartphones are now driving a higher (6%) share of total digital commerce than tablets (3.5%).

MobStac now has over 5 million unique visitors per month, and it aims to reach 25 million monthly unique visitors within few years. The startup has around 25 paying customers currently.

“There is a disparity between consumer and enterprise platforms when it comes to content and commerce. We are changing that by going beyond just building a mobile website,” said Ravi who spent four years with Hillcrest Labs before co-founding MobStac.

As part of the startup’s global expansion plans, Sharat will be relocating to New York next month.

“There are some 75,000 apparel brands in the U.S. alone who could be potential customers for us and others in this space,” said Potharaju.