Malaysian Government Fund Invests $22m in Austin’s Phunware


Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the strategic investment fund of the government of Malaysia, has announced that it invested $22 million of Series F growth financing in Phunware, an Austin, Texas-based multiscreen platform provider.

The round, which includes additional money from current Phunware investors Fraser MccCombs; Maxima Ventures; WWE; Central Texas Angels Network and Baylor Angels Network, will help the firm pursue “its aggressive growth trajectory, fueled by the recent launch of Phunware Data, which helps brands better capitalize on today’s digital and mobile data trails.”

Phunware has secured $90m funding since its 2009 inception. Its multiscreen-as-a-service (MaaS) platform helps brands to engage, manage and monetize their anytime, anywhere mobile application users worldwide.

Mobile continues to be the principle driver of online data, representing more than 65% of digital media time. Almost 90% of that time is spent in mobile applications. Forrester Research predicts that the mobile engagement market will be worth $32bn by 2018.

Phunware Data helps customers capitalize on modern data trails, giving them access to over 650m monthly active users touching the Phunware MaaS platform through thousands of branded mobile applications. In addition to Austin the company has offices in Newport Beach, San Diego, Miami and London.

“Since our inception in 2009, Phunware has been uniquely leading the way in mobile innovation,” said Alan S. Knitowski, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Phunware. “We are the only mobile, native and fully-integrated-first multiscreen cloud platform in the world and our MaaS platform products and solutions currently power more than 40 billion mobile user events every month and more than 1 trillion transactions annually.

“This funding will help turn every one of our global application touch points into an opportunity to reach, engage with and convert users on a 1:1 basis, and will further our vision of having every device in the Internet of Things touch the Phunware platform by 2020,” Knitowski added.

Malaysia has emerged as one of Asia’s leading technology hubs over the past few years, leveraging its almost-30m population and highly-open, fast-growing economy to capitalize on firms wishing to branch into the southest- and east-Asian markets.

Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s assets grew by nearly 3.2% in 2015 to $35.8bn. Its major tech investments include Skyscanner; Alibaba; WeLab and General Fusion.