Xingtone Gets Financing From Siemens

Funds will aid development, growth.

Xingtone, a controversial player in the rapidly emerging ringtone industry, just got a shot in the arm.

The Los Angeles-based company secured a first round of institutional financing yesterday (June 8) from Siemens Mobile Acceleration, the Munich, Germany-based subsidiary of the Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group of Siemens AG.

Xingtone chairman/president Brad Zutaut says the funding will be used for "software development, planning, hiring more people, and building a storefront for content owners."

Xingtone allows users to create custom ringtones from their MP3 and CD libraries and upload them to their wireless handsets. Xingtones says its service enables consumers to make "fair-use copies of music they already own." The software is compatible with all open networks, including Sprint PCS, Cingular, AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile.

Meanwhile, Sven Weber, VP of Siemens Mobile, and Ovid Santoro have joined Xingtone's board of directors. Santoro has been an investment banker and venture capitalist for almost 20 years.

Xingtone's PC client supports some 50 handsets and nearly a dozen carriers in the United States and Canada.