Device management software provider Synchronica believes there is great demand for its push email products for mass-market phones from carriers in developing countries, the opposite end of the market to where email on phones has enjoyed success in richer economies.
While executives brandishing the RIM BlackBerry have epitomized push email in developed markets, Tunbridge Wells, UK-based Synchronica is looking for a boom in business in the mass markets. It is targeting the worldwide community if 3.5 million mobile phone users, rather the smartphone users who currently enjoy push email.
The logic behind the move is that PC penetration in developing countries is low. Copper offering broadband links is thin on the ground and so users are forced into internet cafes to pay for sessions to retrieve email.
Synchronica believes the market is ripe for push email because growing ownership of mobile handsets makes this the ideal device upon which to retrieve email. Moreover, because it uses open standards, there is no need for client software used by rivals with proprietary software.
CFO Angus Dent said the company is close to deals with two carriers, including MTN in Nigeria. He believes it would be attractive to carriers worried by high churn rates, as customers chase the latest bargain offers, because email access would give them a reason for loyalty.
Synchronica is a tiny company. In its first half to June 30, it cut its net loss from 2m pounds ($4m) to 1.5m pounds ($3.1m) on revenue that rose 22% to 762,000 pounds ($1.5m). However, its cash resources were boosted by a 3.5m pound ($7m) fund-raising earlier this year, and its credibility was enhanced when Sun Microsystems licensed key elements of its mobile gateway for $1.8m.
Synchronica said its competitive advantage is that it uses open industry standards so it is not limited to the relatively small smart phone section of the market but can address the whole market, including mass-market feature phones.