The MVNO market is a tough one, and most companies who have tried to make it work have flamed out. Amp’d was the most recent MVNO to go belly-up, after burning through $360 million. There’s a relatively new entrant in the field that just got some backing called Kajeet, which is targeting the “tweener” market. (For those unfamiliar with the term, “tweener” is the new term for “pre-teen”). Kajeet has just announced that they have received $36.8 million in Series B venture capital funding led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson Growth Fund.
From the press release:
kajeet is the first pay-as-you-go cell phone service made from a kid’s point of view. Unique among pay-as-you-go services, the kajeet Configurator offers numerous ways for tweens, teens and their families to tailor the service to meet their needs. kajeet lets tweens and teens customize their mobile experience in ways that suit their world while offering their parents comfort about the role mobile technology plays in their lives. The kajeet service and phones are available at Best Buy, Limited Too and Longs Drugs Stores and at www.kajeet.com.
I’m curious about this “demanding niche market.” Do others see this as a large untapped demographic for mobile operators? I’m the father of a tweener, and so far we haven’t allowed him to have a cell phone (though he has definitely been asking). I don’t think having the option of a tweener-oriented MVNO and it’s associated feature set will change my opinion about my child’s need for a cell phone, but maybe other parents feel differently? Let us know in the comments.