It's no surprise that investment firms are bullish on mobile upstarts, but a series of recent funding moves reveals the smartphone-driven companies marketers should keep an eye on.
1. Popular teen messaging app Kik closed $50 million from WeChat-owned Tencent, and this week's news follows the app's $38.3 million Series C funding in November. Kik is now valued at $1 billion.
With 240 million registered users—70 percent of whom are 13 to 24 years old—Kik's funding puts it squarely in position to compete head-to-head with Snapchat as both companies look to build out new chat features.
2. Kahuna grabbed $45 million from Sequoia Capital and other investors to go after a bigger piece of the automated marketing space, which includes heavyweights like Oracle and Salesforce.
The Palo Alto, Calif., company helps marketers zero in on the right time and place to target people. For example, The Weather Channel uses Kahuna's software to send real-time alerts through its mobile app when it rains.
3. Revel Systems nabbed $13.5 million from Roth Capital Partners to make it easier for retailers to accept electronic payments. Similar to Square, Revel System's technology plugs into cash registers so restaurants and retailers can swipe credit cards through an iPad.
The startup told Fortune that it's opening 1,000 new mobile terminals per week for big and small-to-medium brands.
4. San Diego, Calif.-based Peach picked up $8 million to expand its mobile food delivery service to Boston and Washington, reported The New York Times. The startup works with local restaurants to create menus that are sent to people each week through text messages—a different approach to food delivery than competitors GrubHub, Yelp and Postmates take.