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MPOWER Mobile Attracts Strategic Investment From Veteran Technology Entrepreneurs Backing from Maples Investments and Tivoli Founder Todd Smith Supports Technology Development and Market Expansion
Backing from Maples Investments and Tivoli Founder Todd Smith Supports Technology Development and Market Expansion By PR Newswire

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobile payments provider MPOWER Mobile, Inc. today announced it has received strategic investments from Mike Maples Jr., managing partner of Maples Investments, and Todd Smith, founder of Tivoli. Maples and Smith join MPOWER Ventures partners Roy Sosa, Bertrand Sosa and Jorge Vergara as investors in MPOWER Mobile. The funds will support the company's expansion into key markets and continued technology development. In conjunction with the investment, Smith will support the company by providing strategic guidance on technology development for the company's suite of mobile payments applications. Additionally, Maples Jr. will contribute to the development of key markets and strategic partnership opportunities.

"These contributions of investment, expertise, and time, will fuel MPOWER Mobile's ability to maintain the pace of innovation required to establish a leadership position in the rapidly evolving mobile payments market," said Bertrand Sosa, Founding Partner, MPOWER Ventures. "We proudly welcome Todd Smith and Mike Maples Jr. as key advisors and expect their expertise to be an invaluable asset as we continue to evolve our solutions from enabling financial access in hard-to-reach markets to powering commerce for an increasingly mobile and networked world."

Best known as a founder of Tivoli, Smith has led a distinguished career spanning over 30 years in the technology sector. He founded Tivoli Systems in 1990 and served as the company's chief scientist and a member of the management team that pioneered the multi-billion dollar system management market and led the company's 1995 IPO and later $750 million acquisition by IBM where its brand and technologies are still in use. His numerous technical accomplishments include developing the distributed architecture that preceded the industry's widely adopted CORBA standard and authoring several important patents, including the Internet cookie. Earlier in his career, Smith worked at Texas Instruments and IBM.

"When I retired, I didn't expect to find a team or an idea that could match the passion and excitement I felt during my tenure at Tivoli," said Todd Smith. "I'm as enthusiastic about MPOWER Mobile's proven ability to deliver innovative payment solutions on the mobile handset as I am about the social aims it's trying to achieve by tapping mobile channels to broaden financial access. It's an exciting time to join the company and become part of a team that helps this promising startup lead a transformation in how the world pays."

Mike Maples, Jr. is the managing partner of Maples Investments and was recently named one of "8 Rising VC Stars" by Fortune Magazine. A seasoned technology entrepreneur and executive, Maples has worked in high-growth companies in various senior management roles - from product development and marketing to business development and corporate strategy - in diverse markets, including consumer technology, small business and the enterprise. He co-founded Motive in 1997, a broadband software company that grew to more than $75 million in sales and completed one of the only successful IPOs in 2004. His investments in consumer and business technology include local companies Solarwinds, Bazaarvoice and Spiceworks and well-known startups Twitter, Digg and Chegg.

"Mobile payments are a disruptive technology that promise not only to transform the way financial services are delivered in the U.S. and around the world but also to change the face of the retail, online networks and the telecommunications industry," said Mike Maples Jr., managing partner at Maples Investments. "Many companies are attempting to deliver solutions, but MPOWER Mobile has the right experience, technology, market strategy, and management team to make that promise a reality."

In June 2008, MPOWER Mobile joined the investment portfolio of MPOWER Ventures, a socially committed venture fund founded by prepaid debit industry pioneers Roy and Bertrand Sosa to identify and invest in early stage companies whose innovations benefit the underserved. Since then, MPOWER Mobile has developed a suite of mobile financial services and payments solutions that make it possible for consumers anywhere in the world to access financial products and services - including the ability to send money, accept payments and make purchases - on any mobile handset via text message. Through a unique partnership with Rev Worldwide, a global network of payment companies that also belong to the MPOWER Ventures portfolio, MPOWER Mobile's payments technology currently powers mobile capabilities for prepaid card programs in Europe, Asia Pacific, North America and Latin America.

About MPOWER Mobile

MPOWER Mobile is an international mobile payments company dedicated to empowering underserved consumers. By harnessing the mobile phone's ubiquity and universal functionality like SMS, MPOWER Mobile delivers financial services through the mobile handset - including the ability to send money, accept payments and make purchases - to consumers anywhere in the world. Based in Austin, Texas, MPOWER Mobile is backed by MPOWER Ventures.

About Maples Investments

Maples Investments is a Silicon Valley based, early-stage micro-fund focused on start-ups that fundamentally disrupt existing large markets or create new market categories. The firm currently works with business-focused companies such as Hyper9, Solarwinds, Spiceworks, Egnyte, Demandforce, and YuMe Networks, as well as consumer-focused companies such as ngmoco, digg, Twitter, Kongregate, IMVU, and Aggregate Knowledge.


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