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Brazilian retailer Grupo Pao de Acucar invests in mobile commerce – News briefs

Brazilian retailer Grupo Pão de Açúcar invests in mobile commerce
Grupo Pão de Açúcar has invested in mobile commerce, launching its online Pão de Açúcar Delivery service for Android, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
The application, developed by Pontomobi, a mobile marketing firm, is designed to strengthen the retailer’s brand strategy and build even closer ties with customers, in addition to making shopping easier and more convenient.
Users will be offered the same functionalities and services that are already available on the site, including product search, ready-made shopping lists, customized shopping lists, recipes and items recently purchased, in addition to a store finder that helps customers find their nearest Pão de Açúcar store.

In order to access Pão de Açúcar Delivery Mobile, all customers have to do is download the application, which is available for all operating systems.

Point Inside releases app for Android devices 
Point Inside Inc. has released version 2.0 of its free Destination Smart Map application for Android-based phones. 

For the first time, Android consumers have free access to interactive, searchable maps and directories for more than 800 of the world’s top airports and shopping centers. 

No longer do people need to find a paper map or directory to locate restrooms, restaurants, stores or business lounges inside their destinations.

Point Inside Version 2.0 for Android joins its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch siblings as well as the recently released Meijer Find-it iPhone and Android applications as the first applications built on Point Inside’s destination content platform. 

According to market research firm, Gartner Research, the Android mobile operating system is expected to be the No. 2 mobile smartphone operating system in 2010 and could reach No. 1 by 2014. 

According to Gartner, Android-based handsets will reach 17.5 percent market share in 2010, up from 3.9 percent in 2009. 

Apple’s iPhone operating system (iOS) will garner 15.4 percent of the market this year, up from 14.4 percent in 2009.  

By 2012, the research firm expects Android will challenge the Symbian OS as market-leader with 29.6  percent of the market versus 30.2 percent for Symbian.

ClairMail secures $13.8M in financing to grow mobile banking, payments technology infrastructure 
ClairMail Inc., a mobile banking and payments service provider, landed a $13.8 million late stage round of funding led by Investor Growth Capital (IGC), the wholly owned venture capital arm of Stockholm-based Investor AB.

Existing investors JAFCO Ventures, Northwest Venture Partners and Outlook Ventures also participated in the round. ClairMail will use the financing to grow its technology infrastructure and service capabilities to meet the growing demand for mobile financial services.
IGC, known for investments in growth-stage technology companies across emerging markets, is the latest strategic partner to join ClairMail’s investor portfolio.

The company claims that its financial institution customers now include eight of the top 12 North American banks. 
The investment highlights the growing demand among FIs for a mobile banking and payments platform that will meet the evolving needs of their customers.

The industry has seen skyrocketing adoption, growth and opportunity in the past year, per ClairMail.

Data released by comScore showed that 13.2 million people accessed their bank accounts from their phones during the month of April 2010 — a 70 percent increase from one year ago — and IDC Financial Insights recently reported that mobile banking usage has almost doubled over the past year.

Accordingly, internal ClairMail research projects that 46 percent of the top 600 banks are planning to purchase or implement mobile banking strategies in 2010. 

The ClairMail mobile banking platform processes millions of transactions per month for its customers across retail banks, credit unions and card service companies, providing consumers with access to their accounts via multiple modes, including SMS, mobile Web and client applications, on virtually any mobile device.

Where hires advertising veteran to help brands reach local consumers
Where Inc., a location-based media company, has hired Scott Hendrickson as vice president of advertising sales.

Mr. Hendrickson’s proven track record and notable career with start-up organizations and established media companies such as Sports Illustrated and Time Warner will augment the existing sales engine at WHERE.

In addition, while providing a new level of focused leadership for this division of the company, Mr. Hendrickson will be focused on increasing the momentum and success around the industry’s largest location-based mobile search and display ad network.

Known for his specialization in the monetization of new media technologies, platform development, partnerships and corporate sales, the addition of Mr. Hendrickson also serves as a strategic next step in the company’s growth strategy.