Indiqu co-founder Christophe Watkins freely admits hes in the addiction business.
“Its fun and life is short,” he says. “We dont want to mess around with the weather and the stock quotes. Well leave that to the other guys.”
Instead, Watkins 2-year-old San Diego-based company specializes in bringing gaming, extreme sports and, potentially, a mobile dating service to wireless users around the world. The company is also planning to launch a humor channel this year that will have exclusive rights to the Dilbert Web site.
“We like to say were monetizing peoples obsessions,” Watkins says. “Were responding to the unfulfilled needs and desires of people.”
Indiqu offers a handful of programming channels to wireless users, including Game On, which features a mobile casino, card games, arcade sports, a quiz show and board and parlor games. Edge Sports has news and events for skateboarders, snowboarders and bike racers; OntheSnow.com posts snow and weather reports; and Aura offers horoscopes, tarot readings and dream interpretations.
Eventually, Watkins foresees a mobile dating service that would let users set up a profile of Mr. or Ms. Right, and would notify them if a match is in their cell phone zone.
Watkins, who comes from an Internet gaming background, started Indiqu with the idea of transmitting any type of game or recreation service over any type of device. The company provides the enabling technology for an Internet site to translate to wireless technology. When a customer accesses one of Indiqus channels by a cell phone, the software determines what brand of phone it is and then transmits the appropriate text.
Indiqus clients are Web portals such as GoTo Systems, along with the big wireless companies, including AT&T, France Telecom, Sprint PCS, Verizon Communications and Hollands KPN, which all offer Indiqu channels on their default menus. Watkins estimates that Indiqu has 75 percent market coverage in North America.
“Were like the Viacom of the mobile world,” he says.