Austin software company Phunware Inc., one of the city’s fastest growing tech startups, made headlines this past week for announcing plans to go public. The company will also enter the blockchain industry by mid-summer 2018 by launching a token generation event for PhunCoin tokens.
Phunware is a monetization, engagement, and analytics platform for mobile apps. On February 28, the company announced plans to merge with Stellar Acquisition III, a special purpose acquisition company based in Athens, Greece.
The merger valued Phunware at $301 million. It’s expected to close in the second quarter of 2018. The merger signals a move towards an IPO.
However, Phunware’s partnership shouldn’t be seen as an IPO:
“It’s really just a financing event for our team and behaves similarly to an IPO without needing to worry about market windows or timing,”, said Emily Renyolds, Phunware Senior Director of Marketing, in a statement to BizJournals.com. “Combining with Stellar gives Phunware both cash and a public currency for organic and inorganic growth and provides the public-company visibility and brand awareness we’ve been working toward since our founding in 2009.”
Phunware issued a statement explaining that the combined companies will publicly trade under the symbols PHUN and PHUNW.
Phunware also announced plans for a token generation event (TGE), during which it would launch PhunCoin tokens. Phunware officially plans to enter the blockchain space, although it’s not clear at this point how they plan to implement blockchain technology or utilize PhunCoin tokens in their platform. Phunware filed a trademark for the name PhunCoin in December 2017.
About Phunware PhunCoin
Launched in Austin in 2009, Phunware has attracted more than $80 million in financing from venture capitalists like Wavemaker Partners (Draper Network Fund), Fraser McCombs Ventures, Maxima Ventures, Samsung, Cisco Investments, PLDT Capital, Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN), Baylor Angel Network (BAN), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and others.
Phunware continues to be one of Austin’s fastest growing tech companies. After the merger, Phunware CEO Alan S. Knitowski will continue to serve as CEO of the combined company.
Phunware is best-known for pioneering multiscreen as a service (MaaS), a fully integrated suite of platform products, solutions, and data allowing brands to engage, manage, and monetize their mobile apps worldwide. Other core products and services offered by the company include:
- Enterprise mobile software services, including content management, location-based services, marketing automation, business intelligence and analytics, alerts, notifications and messaging, and more
- Media for mobile audience building and activation, application discovery, brand awareness, user engagement, user monetization, and more
- Data for audience insights, campaign engagement, and business process optimization
About Stellar Acquisition
Stellar Acquisition is a publicly traded company (Nasdaq: STLR) launched in 2015. It’s a blank check company founded with the goal of effecting a merger, asset acquisition, or other business combination with one or more business entities.
How Will Phunware PhunCoin Tokens Work?
PhunWare’s statement described PhunCoin as “a blockchain-powered utility token and ecosystem that enables consumers, brands and application developers to transact directly and create a value-based and voluntary data exchange.”
We won’t know specific details about PhunCoin’s blockchain until closer to launch. Stay tuned to Phunware.com for more information about the application development firm and its upcoming blockchain-based Phunware PhunCoin tokens.