Game Changer: More than $13 Million Invested in App Maker Kiswe Mobile through State’s Angel Tax Credit Program
TRENTON (November 10, 2016) – Union County-based Kiswe Mobile is devoted to providing sports enthusiasts with an innovative way of watching their favorite games. The Murray Hill technology company’s mobile app lets users customize their viewing experience through a variety of features including real-time sporting events, multiple camera angles and player-tracking technology. The app, which is available on both iOS and Android products, also enables sports fans to share their favorite clips via email or social media, live chat with other users, create customized television channels, and watch archives of completed games.
This summer, Kiswe partnered with Univision, the largest broadcast audience of any Spanish language television network in the world, to be the exclusive web-streaming broadcaster of the COPA America soccer tournament. Kiswe Co-Founder Wim Sweldens noted that the tournament, which culminated in the final at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, was a success, and Kiswe drove substantial traffic to Univision's web platform. Kiswe also partners with such organizations as the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Washington Mystics, the National Hockey League, and Steven’s Institute of Technology to bring a range of sporting events to app users.
Along with Swelden’s and Kiswe Chairman Jeong Kim’s leadership, the company has benefitted from more than $13 million in investments made through the State’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program. Administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) in consultation with the New Jersey Division of Taxation, the program offers a 10 percent refundable tax credit against New Jersey corporation business or gross income tax for qualified investments in an emerging technology business with a physical presence in New Jersey and that conducts research, manufacturing, or technology commercialization in the state. Any investor wishing to apply for the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program must submit a completed application, with all required documentation submitted by November 15, 2016 to be considered for approval for a 2016 tax credit certificate.
“When entrepreneurs like Jeong Kim and Wim Sweldens pitch to investors, they can point to the State’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program as an added incentive to obtain funding,” EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen said. “In just over three years since the program was established, investors have already pumped more than $142 million into New Jersey-based life sciences and technology companies like Kiswe.”
Sweldens and Kim bring extensive knowledge of the telecommunications industry and strong ties to New Jersey’s vibrant technology community to their position at the helm of the company. Kim served as President of Bell Labs and Sweldens served as President of Alcatel-Lucent’s wireless division.
“Founding Kiswe in New Jersey was a very natural decision made by the team, especially given the fact that we mostly hail from Bell Labs, located just around the corner from our first office,” Sweldens said. “We were already well acquainted with the incredible local talent pool as well as the wonderful quality of life this area offers.”
Kiswe recently hired its 22nd employee at its New Jersey headquarters and currently has satellite offices in New York, Maryland, Belgium and South Korea.
@NJEDATech asked Sweldens about Kiswe’s experience in New Jersey and its plans for the future.
What does funding provided through the Angel Investor Tax Credit mean to Kiswe Mobile?
Funding provided by investors that participated in the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program has benefited Kiswe in every part of our business. Kiswe competes in the next big area of consumer and business technology — live streaming. Because of the large opportunity ahead of us, competition is steep, so speed is key. The funding we received through this program has allowed us to grow at a faster pace than we ever imagined. Our technology has been at the forefront, surpassing some of the technology we see from today's largest players such as Facebook and Twitter.
What is your company’s biggest success to date?
We recently launched our consumer app on iOS and Android, bringing the technology right to the everyday worldwide user. For the COPA America games, we leveraged our consumer app to drive engaging fan content produced by top soccer players. With the Kiswe app, approved producers are able to stream live, anytime, anywhere. In just a few short months, Kiswe has on-boarded a variety of top content providers from professional mixed martial arts leagues to top sports commentators. Our app users simply love using Kiswe to get insider access to live events.
What’s in store for Kiswe Mobile in the near future?
With our innovative technology in-hand, the future for Kiswe is about growth in both our business and consumer tracks. If you are a broadcaster, content producer or advertiser looking to access the engaged mobile audience at Kiswe, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a consumer looking for engaging live and interactive content, please download the Kiswe app in the iOS or Android store.
To learn more about the Angel Tax Credit Program and other resources available to New Jersey’s emerging technology and life sciences companies, visit https://www.njeda.com/tls and follow @NJEDATech on Twitter and LinkedIn.