Mobile App Distributor GetJar Gets Another $11 Million
The latest funding will further help the company, which offers 65,000 free apps and recently surpassed 1 billion downloads, to expand app distribution across smartphone operating systems such as Android, BlackBerry, and Symbian.
In the last year, GetJar says it has quadrupled the number of monthly downloads to 80 million, tripled the size of its staff and struck deals with partners such as Sprint despite a challenging economic climate.
"We look forward to our continued partnership with Accel Partners and this new funding will be instrumental in taking GetJar to the next level in our business strategy for aggressive global expansion and product development," said Ilja Laurs, founder and CEO of GetJar, in a statement.
With its cross-platform strategy, the company started in Vilnius, Lithuania wants to be the "Wal-Mart" of mobile app distributors. By detecting incoming devices, GetJar can push the appropriate app to most types of feature phones and smartphones in more than 200 countries.
The company recently also introduced a service that lets feature phone users get an app-like experience even if an app has been developed for their particular phone. GetJar's App Download Page provides a shortcut link to a mobile Web site rather than an actual app for non-smartphone users. Facebook's mobile site shortcut on GetJar has been downloaded more than 60 million times to date.
With its 1 billion downloads, the company claims it has second largest app store, trailing Apple's App Store, with 4 billion downloads. Unlike Apple, GetJar makes money by allowing publishers to bid for placement in a "Sponsored Apps" section on the right side of its home page. GetJar gets paid based on how many users download these apps.
The company doesn't directly serve apps to iPhone users since the iPhone is part of a closed platform. But owners of the Apple device can use the GetJar store to find new apps and be redirected to the App Store to download the titles. In addition to Sprint, GetJar has also forged partnerships with carriers and manufacturers including Sony Ericsson, Opera, Vodafone, 3UK and Virgin Mobile.
Market research firm Yankee Group earlier this year nearly tripled its projection for total U.S. mobile app revenue in 2010 from $537 million to $1.6 billion. By 2014, that figure is expected to grow to $11 billion.