Mozilla invests in Everything.me, marking first VC foray

The company has been working closely with Everything.me on "creating a compelling content experience" for the Firebox browser.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
3 min read
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Mozilla has taken its first step into the VC world, investing in Everything.me to support the startup's efforts in creating HTML5 mobile app technology.

Mozilla was one of several investors in a new $25 million round for Everything.me. The investment was led by the Silicon Valley-based venture team of Telefonica Digital, and it also includes funding from SingTel Innov8 and previous investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DFJTF, BRM Group, and Horizons Ventures.

Everything.me, formerly DoAT, provides technology that enables smartphones to quickly and easily match a user's needs with the most relevant HTML5 content. The Israel-based company plans to use the funding to expand its team and drive Everything.me's ongoing development.

Here's how Everything.me describes itself:

Everything.me is powering a new paradigm for smartphones --- changing them from "smart" to "dynamic." Rather than the static experience of today's smartphone, a dynamic phone adapts its offering of apps on the fly, matching the content and services a user needs with the most relevant apps available -- whether locally or from the cloud. This shift bridges the gap between the web and applications on mobile. Apps appear on the screen according to user intent and are all instantly available and ready to use whether the user downloaded them or not. This dynamic platform enhances mobile OS and app store experiences by providing easy access to thousands of apps, games and services available on HTML5.

Mozilla noted in a blog post that it has been working on platform development alongside Everything.me, and the startup will "play an important role in creating a compelling content experience on Firefox OS," expected to launch in 2013.

"The company is aligned closely with Mozilla's mission and goals, and we've enjoyed collaborating with them to push the boundaries of what the Web can do," the company said.

Carlos Domingo, director of product development & innovation at Telefonica Digital, noted that his company is "committed to driving greater openness in mobile ecosystems which will in turn spur innovation." He noted that's why Telefonica is a strong supporter of Firefox and why the integration of Everything.me into Firefox will "add a rich and compelling content experience for customers."

Many big technology organizations invest in smaller businesses that are working on advancements in their interest areas. Intel's Intel Capital is one of the biggest VCs, and Google, Qualcomm, and others are also active in the area. Mozilla, however, has never made such an investment before, and the participation in Everything.me's funding round doesn't necessarily signal bigger plans for startup investing.

A Mozilla spokesman declined to provide further details.

Mozilla, operator of the Firebox browser, has been a big proponent of HTML5 for mobile apps. The Web-based technology allows developers to create one app for multiple operating systems, rather than making native apps specifically for certain products, like iOS. Among many benefits is the ability for developers to update the apps easily and frequently.

However, there are also some drawbacks to HTML5. Browsers span many devices, but there are innumerable major and minor differences among them. The capabilities of browsers on PCs, smartphones, and TVs can vary drastically.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in September said betting on HTML5 rather than native apps was one of the biggest strategic mistakes the company had ever made. He noted that he's excited about the technology longer term but said native apps are the way to go at this time.