Israel’s Modu Gets Venture Funding From Qualcomm

1/26/09Follow @bvbigelow

Israel’s daily business newspaper Calcalist is reporting that San Diego’s Qualcomm has invested $7 million in modu, a modular mobile phone maker headed by the inventor of the USB flash drive.

Founder and CEO Dov Moran started modu in 2007 in Kfar-Saba, Israel, after selling his previous company, msystems, to SanDisk in 2006 for $1.6 billion.

In a way, modu’s concept is similar to a flash drive. Its slim mobile phone, which was officially declared the “lightest phone in the world” last year by Guinness World Records, handles the user’s basic communications tasks. It is designed to be inserted, like a cartridge, into a variety of consumer electronic devices, or jackets, that expand its functionality. For example, the modu phone can be inserted into jackets that make it into a personal music player, GPS system, or digital camera.

The modu phone slides into another handheld device

The modu phone slides into another handheld device

The company made its debut at last year’s Mobile World Congress, pricing the basic module plus two jackets at $200.

The U.S. spokesman for modu had no comment this morning on the Calcalist report, which was relayed by Techcrunch. Qualcomm has not responded yet to a query about the deal, but we’ll update if they do.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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