If you have ever played ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ on your mobile phone, or sent a text message to a radio show, you are likely to have used Empower Interactive’s technology. SMS was originally designed to send short messages between two phones, but because of the delay in rolling out third-generation systems, Empower is responding to the demand for more complex uses. Its customers include Orange and BT.
London-based Empower was founded in 2000 by Michael Ohr and Ian Wood and is now headed by Richard Shearer, former commercial director at T-Mobile. It has raised £20m from a number of institutional investors. Sales have risen 221% a year from an annualised £151,000 in 2000 to £1.6m in 2002. Though the company had significant losses in 2002, sales should more than double this year and Empower expects to break even in 2005.
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