SkyBlox Raises First Round of Funding Becoming The First Startup Ever Funded Via Twitter

August 18th, 2009 by Michael

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ATLANTA, GA–(Marketwire – August 19, 2009) – If you've been in a restaurant or retail store around Atlanta and accessed the Internet while you were there, chances are you've been introduced to SkyBlox. Started in early 2008 by members of the former EarthLink Wi-Fi team, SkyBlox quickly became the largest provider of Wi-Fi in Atlanta with additional operations in Austin, Chicago & Denver. SkyBlox manages a first-of-its-kind mobile platform that allows local businesses to communicate with their mobile customers in real time.

SGIO LLC, a private equity investment firm specializing in early-stage technology focused startups, invested an undisclosed amount. DLA Piper advised SkyBlox on the transaction.

SkyBlox used Twitpay, another Atlanta-based startup, to facilitate a portion of the investment. This makes SkyBlox the first company ever funded via Twitter, the hugely successful social media platform. “SkyBlox's concept of combining wireless and local content has proven to be an innovative model. Using Twitter for this transaction is just another example of their creative approach,” said Lance Weatherby, an ATDC Startup Catalyst.

Twitter link:

http://twitter.com/sgiollc/status/3374003852

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“We've been using Wi-Fi for the past year to make our mark on the local online space. This investment allows SkyBlox to build an even more powerful platform to capitalize on the growth of mobile devices and create a sustainable local online business model,” says SkyBlox Founder & CEO Dave Payne.

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Coincidence? We Think Not…

January 9th, 2009 by dave

At the end of every day I search the Internet for stories about Wi-Fi. Most days the stories don't tell much of a narrative, but today I ran across three articles in a row that – read together – provide a good snapshot of where Wi-Fi is going in 2009 (and why more local businesses should promote it).

The first story comes from the yearly mega-convention that is currently happening in Las Vegas, the Consumer Electronics Show. Sarah Reedy, a reporter for TelephonyOnline, reports that Wi-Fi on handheld devices grew 26% in 2008! Analyst believe that in the next few years there will be two handheld Wi-Fi devices per person in the United States.

The second story by PJ Jacobowitz in PCMag.com describes Sony's new Wi-Fi camera. What makes this one special is a fully-functioning browser, allowing this camera to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots like SkyBlox.

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Finally, I ran across an article by Sewell Chan in The New York Times about the outdoor Wi-Fi networks that are being closed in New York City. I could spend hours reading about the failure of outdoor Wi-Fi networks, but this one does just fine. Bottom line…outdoor Wi-Fi does not have a viable business case. What does this mean to small businesses? Your Wi-Fi is becoming more valuable to your customers by the day!

Taken together, these articles paint a picture of a world where phones, gaming devices, cameras, etc all have Wi-Fi, but access to free Wi-Fi is decreasing, so more-and-more consumers will choose neighborhoods and local businesses based on access to free Wi-Fi for all of their cool devices.

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