New mobile web service gets commercial backing

March 28, 2003

A mobile internet company founded by four Cambridge graduates has attracted six-figure first-round funding to meet growing demand for services on phones and personal digital assistants.

Hypertag has developed point-and-click technology that offers access to location-specific web-based content via mobile phones and other wireless networks.

Investment from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts and private investors will give the company 12 months in which to deliver initial contracts, expand its software team, extend new product development and work with customers to identify new applications. First large-scale contracts are expected by summer.

The Hypertag wireless device can be attached to any information-display surface, such as an advertising panel, museum exhibit, trade-show stand or in-store promotion. Users point and click their mobile phone at the display to access additional information and services from the web, tailored to the context of the display.

The Cambridge-based company was launched by the engineering graduates 18 months ago. Business input has come from local entrepreneur Alastair Wayne, who set up a radio station in 1994.

Hypertag chief executive Jonathan Morgan said the company had been helped greatly by the Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre, set up by the university in 1998 as part of its strategy for commercial exploitation of science and technology.

The company is in negotiations with leading operators in the visitor attraction, trade exhibition, outdoor advertising and retail automation industries. In the medium term, it plans to develop tagging games and pictures.

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