Shares of mobile app developer Vringo soared Monday after it was revealed that billionaire Mark Cuban had taken a major stake in the ringtone company. According to regulatory documents filed Friday, Cuban has bought a 7.4% stake in the company. That makes Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, the company’s largest shareholder.
Vringo is best known for its Facetones app that matches incoming smartphone calls from friends with visual “ringtones” using their Facebook pictures. Vringo’s other apps include Video ReMix, which allows users to remix licensed music videos, and Fan Loyalty, a social platform that ties in to participating reality TV shows. Vringo was a forgotten stock last year, and understandably so. The company rang up a mere USD 718,000 in revenue, offset by more than USD 7.1m in operating expenses.
Vringo, which went public in 2010, has yet to turn a profit. Its revenue more than tripled in 2011, but that still amounts to less than USD 1m. This investment disclosure arrived a day after Mention Mobile, a social-gaming applications maker, said that Cuban invested an undisclosed sum in the company.