Motorola’s VC arm invests in California tech firm

By Wailin Wong
Posted Feb. 24 at 5:19 p.m.

The venture capital arm of Libertyville-based Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. has made its first investment since splitting from Motorola Inc., putting an undisclosed sum into a California technology company that makes a “digital locker” for multimedia content.

Like its predecessor, Motorola Ventures, Motorola Mobility Ventures’ typical investment ranges between $3 million and $5 million. Motorola split into two independent companies in January, with Motorola Mobility housing the mobile devices and television set-top box units. Motorola Solutions, the other company that focuses on communications gear for government and industrial customers, has its own investment arm called Motorola Solutions Venture Capital.

Motorola Mobility Ventures invested in Catch Media, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company whose software platform allows users to access digital content such as music and video from different devices, including smart phones, tablets, set-top boxes and Web-connected TVs.

This technology is important to Motorola Mobility because the company is looking for ways to link its mobile devices and set-top box businesses, and the ability to share content across devices is part of that strategy. Consumers that pay for a cable TV subscription, for example, want to store programs on a DVR and then watch them on a laptop or phone.

Motorola Mobility Ventures said Catch Media’s platform makes sure content providers are properly compensated when media is shared across devices. The California firm’s system was first introduced with Best Buy Europe late last year through a cloud-based service that allows consumers to stream tracks from their personal music library to their desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Catch Media will be launched in the U.S. in early 2011 “in cooperation with the music industry,” Motorola Mobility Ventures said.

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