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Mnet shares mobile smarts with LA

Opens first US office to offer cross platform solutions

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Adelaide-founded mobile development company Mnet has opened its first US office in Los Angeles to build on its existing mobile advertising business with Yahoo! and work on new mobile and multi-channel solutions.

The move marks a significant evolution for the company which was launched in 2001 as a hybrid project between carriers, academics and vendors to commercialise emerging 3G technologies. Yahoo!, which is a foundation stakeholder, used the group to help build its Yahoo!Mobile portal in California in 2005.

Mnet continues to build hundreds of post-click mobile internet sites and rich media solutions for Yahoo! Inc. advertisers in partnership with Crisp Media.

The company’s main stakeholders include Yahoo! Digital Media Pty Ltd with 15.46 percent, Alcatel-Lucent Australia with 15.24 percent, Telstra at 12.76 percent and CVC Limited at 12.03 percent. Other shareholders include Citicorp, Austereo and various company directors.

“The gloves are off for mobile in America,” said Kristy Manson, Executive Vice President of Sales at Mnet Group. “Companies see mobile’s destiny as the key customer interface, they are discovering its unique and pivotal capabilities and they are looking to established experts like Mnet to provide the competitive advantage: in research, in strategy, in user experience and in technology.”

Former Yahoo!7 sales exec, Adam Webb, has been named Mnet’s new Vice President for North America, based in the new LA office. “Mnet has been developing mobile solutions for our US clients for the past three years, which has led to us forging strong relationships in this market.It’s the right time for us to further develop our presence here by establishing the local office,” Webb said.

ASX-listed Mnet posted revenues of $AU12.7 million in the last financial year, an increase of 34 percent. Overseas revenues currently accounts for $AU2 million, and comes mostly from North America and the Yahoo! Account.

Recently, founding CEO Horden Wiltshire left the company after nine years and handed over the reigns to former COO Bob Humphreys. ®

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