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Investors shovel another $10m of 'fuel' onto the SkyFire

Whose side are you on? Server side?

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Cloud-optimised browsing company SkyFire has landed another $10m investment, on top of the $30m it has already spent, to push its mobile browsing solution into Europe and Asia.

Mobile browsing optimisation company SkyFire has raised another $10m from investors, on top of the $30.5m that has already been poured into the company since 2007 when it started providing server-side interpretation of internet content. These days SkyFire is all about video, making it easier and cheaper to watch on the move, and we're told that this money will fund the expansion of that effort into Europe and Asia.

The cash comes from Panorama Capital, which is new to the table and joins existing investors Matrix Partners, Trinity, Verizon Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The first two of those have been putting money in steadily since the beginning, with LightSpeed joining them in 2008 and Verizon arriving when the company raised another $8m in January this year.

That round of funding was to pay running costs and fund expansion into European and Asian markets, so the press release carefully states that this round will be used to "fuel" the expansion, which we're obliged to assume is already well underway.

In common with most of the alternative mobile browsers, SkyFire processes content before delivery, proudly pointing out its ability to deliver Flash video to iOS devices, among other things. SkyFire used to give away its browser, but the cost of running the servers is considerable and in 2010 the company had to scale back operations considerably by shutting down some of those servers.

These days the mobile browser will cost you, and though the £3.17 is hardly bank-breaking, it has to compete with Opera Mobile – which provides comparable functionality for free. So what SkyFire really wants to do is make money selling the technology to network operators.

The idea is to get the operators to host (and pay for) the servers, providing a better user experience while reducing the cost of transmission. It's a compelling proposition, so compelling that a host of companies are already proposing it, and soon SkyFire will have to complete with them too. ®

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