If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Mobile Industry Heavyweights Join Forces to Solve Mobile Carrier's Biggest Problem

Senior executives create mobile loyalty services firm, attract over $2 million in Series A seed financing from investors


(SAN FRANCISCO / LOS ANGELES, CA) Armed with a senior management team with expertise in industries such as telecom, media and mobile gaming, Sennari is poised to turn mobile media into a solution to address wireless carriers' biggest problem: customer loyalty.

Sennari, a mobile relationship management pioneer, closed $2 million in Series A seed funding, lead by Novak Biddle Venture Partners and Blacksmith Capital. The funding will be used to drive the development and expansion of the company's patent-pending customer loyalty solution, designed to help carriers and content holders reduce churn, increase network traffic, and create new revenue streams.

Bill Barhydt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer had a long-time vision for the founding of this new business model.

"Over and over I would hear from carriers and publishers of mobile content that the number one problem they face is customer loyalty and churn. Either they didn't know who their customers were or they didn't know how to make them part of a value added community with increased revenue potential," Mr. Barhydt stated. "Our goal at Sennari is to create a compelling 'cost of change' for customers, where none currently exists."

Mr. Barhydt, recognized as one of the 30 most influential Internet technology pioneers by the World Economic Forum in 2000, has a rich history in working with investors to help build high-tech start ups including KnowNow, Plaxo, Navio and WebSentric.

Mr. Barhydt worked with Michael Cartabiano, President of Sennari Games, and Julian Hardy, a pioneer in the mobile entertainment business, and together refined the vision of bringing a loyalty solution into the mobile gaming arena. "Sennari Games is a leader in mobile entertainment innovation, and is well respected by both game publishers and carriers." said Mr. Barhydt. "Mike and Julian realized the value of combining content with mobile loyalty, and brought to the table the mobile development, marketing, licensing and distribution expertise needed to make it happen."

As part of the financing deal, the management and assets of Sennari Games have been rolled into the new company. Mr. Cartabiano now serves as President-Americas and Chief Operating Officer of the newly formed entity.

Mr. Hardy is well known in the European community as an expert in breakthrough forms of mobile entertainment, especially 'pay to play' models. He served as CEO of Scan Mobile as well as President of Mforma-Europe. Previously Mr. Hardy served as Managing Director for Freeserve, a leading European ISP, and most recently helped build Sorrent's European operations. He now serves as President-Europe, Middle East and Africa for Sennari.

"We believe there is a very large market opportunity in mobile phone and mobile infrastructure software and services," said Tom Scholl of Novak Biddle. "Sennari is creating an exciting product family with an innovative business model which should be advantageous to the entire value chain in this market. Besides looking for companies with a proprietary advantage, we invest in management who has a demonstrated record of success, creativity and high-integrity. Along with the requisite domain knowledge, we saw these valuable traits in Bill, Julian and Mike."

To schedule an appointment for a "sneak peek" of Sennari's Mobile Loyalty and Community Services Platform (MLCS) at the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3), May 17 through May 20, please RSVP to: Sennari@vscconsulting.com or call 415-305-6041.

You can also catch Sennari President-EMEA Julian Hardy at the NextGen and Mobile Games Forum in Los Angeles presented by iHollywoodForum on May 19th at 11am. He will be a panelist on "Mobile Games, Publisher Perspective: Distribution Deals and Marketing Strategies" alongside executives from Sorrent, I-play, In-Fusio, Sony Ericsson, and the Wireless Developer Agency.

About Sennari:

Sennari provides mobile carriers, game publishers, music and video publishers and other content based entertainment companies with solutions for maintaining customer loyalty, reducing churn and creating new revenue streams. For more information, visit www.sennari.com

About Novak Biddle Venture Partners:

Novak Biddle Venture Partners, located in Bethesda, Maryland is a leading early stage venture capital firm focused on unique, cutting-edge technology investments. With over $350 million under management, Novak Biddle operates four venture funds that currently provide equity financing and management assistance to 31 portfolio companies. Novak Biddle continues to seek business situations where the combination of ideas, dollars, experience, and relationships can create long term, sustainable value. A sampling of companies funded by Novak Biddle include: RFID first-mover Matrics, VOIP trailblazer Telogy, education technology leader Blackboard Inc. and intelligent video surveillance pioneer ObjectVideo. For more information, visit www.novakbiddle.com

About Blacksmith Capital:

Blacksmith Capital was formed in 2003 to create a new franchise targeting innovative technologies that affect the consumer or the companies servicing the consumer. The Firm invests in entrepreneurs who differentiate themselves from their competitors by superior, equity-efficient execution. With a presence in both Silicon Valley and the Mid-Atlantic, Blacksmith Capital can work closely with the best management teams of early-stage companies on both coasts. For more information visit www.blacksmithcapital.com.

For more information please contact:

Vijay Chattha / VSC PR / 415-305-6041 / Sennari@vscconsulting.com

GamesIndustry International avatar

GamesIndustry International


GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.