This Monday, shortly after announcing the company’s participation in a Series B round of funding for startup Magnet Systems, HTC revealed that the company would recognize an estimated $40M loss as OnLive – a U.S. cloud gaming service in which HTC had invested in February 2011 – has been forced to restructure. HTC’s $35.4M investment in Magnet Systems indicates that the company has no plans of playing it safe. Rather, as social, mobile, and cloud technologies continue to drive strong opportunities in the market, HTC appears determined to continue down this high-risk high-reward path.
HTC’s investment in Magnet Systems also exemplifies a transition to investment in the world of enterprise mobility – as opposed to more consumer-based applications (e.g. OnLive). Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Magnet Systems’ software platform promises to accelerate app development in the enterprise space through its WIN software platform. Prior to HTC’s investment in this young startup, Magnet Systems had received $12.6M in March 2011 from Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.
While Magnet Systems remains a small player in the enterprise mobility space, VDC recommends keeping an eye out to see the company evolve. Magnet Systems’ Founder & CEO Alfred Chuang had previously co-founded BEA Systems in 1995. 13 years later, the company sold to Oracle Corp. for $8.5B. BEA Systems specialized in developing middleware to connect software apps to back-end databases, facilitating buildout of strong infrastructure for the enterprise.
Magnet Systems’ approach to enterprise software leverages the cloud to facilitate real-time updates and communication. The company’s first app – Sales WIN – is a productivity solution, utilizing social networking tools to enhance efficiency in sales deal management and pipeline visibility. Looking forward, the company will likely look to build out its portfolio of mobile apps, encouraging developers to leverage their Workplace Interaction Network (WIN) software development platform. The influx in capital from HTC will likely accelerate the company’s growth – we will have to wait to see how the company evolves in coming months.