Amp’d Mobile Inc. is known for outrageous ads like “Try not to die… Amp’d Mobile is coming.”
But the VC-backed company isn’t taking any chances with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Los Angeles-based mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) recently closed on more than $100 million in third-round funding, but isn’t commenting on the deal until it finishes negotiating with a pair of late-arriving investors who could push the funding amount to $150 million, according to sources.
“Amp’d is just being careful not to inadvertently violate anti-marketing or solicitation regulations,” says a source familiar with the situation. “I’d expect a final announcement within the next few weeks.”
Tudor Ventures is leading the round, although the identities of the two other new investors are still unknown.
Return backers will include Columbia Capital, Highland Capital Partners, MTV Networks, Redwood Ventures and Universal Music Group.
Amp’d hit up the venture market in August for $57 million in VC funding, before adding another $50 million from MTV Networks in December. That means that it has banked at least $207 million to date, with the figure possibly approaching $260 million.
For context, the backing is on a par with the funding of Amp’d rival Helio. Los Angeles-based Helio has raised more than $400 million in committed capital from EarthLink and SK Telecom. Moreover, a tech blogger reported that some ex-Gizmondo executives have raised $300 million for another MVNO named Xero Mobile, even though most market sources believe that figure is marketing hype.
One certainty is that Amp’d ranks as the top venture capital fund-raiser in the first quarter, even without the two additional investors (and assuming there are no surprises before the quarter is up at the end of this week).
Placing second is ITA Software Inc., a maker of pricing and shopping software for the airlines industry, which in January scored a $100 million round led by Battery Ventures.
The rest of the top five shakes out with two medical facilities companies: Take Care Health Systems LLC (which raised $77 million from Beecken Petty O’Keefe & Company and others) and Salick Cardiovascular Centers Inc. (which announced a $75 million funding last week from Warburg Pincus).
The fifth largest deal in the quarter looks to be drug developer Microbia Inc., which raised $75 million in a Series E deal in February from Sigma Capital Partners, Venrock Associates, Polaris Venture Partners and other investors.