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GetJar gets $11M in funding to further expansion

Cross-platform applications store GetJar has closed $11 million in Series B funding from Accel Partners that it will use to further its growth strategy.

The company plans to apply the new capital to continued innovations on its consumer-facing sites— and—and its customer platforms such as Pay-Per-Download (PPD), App Download Page (ADP) and App Catalogue Express (ACE), in order to fuel its traffic growth.

“We’re going to invest the funding in a couple of areas,” said Patrick Mork, chief marketing officer at Get Jar, San Mateo, CA. “The first one is we’re looking to expand our business geographically.

“We have a really good business serving apps in 240 countries to 25 million consumers, but we really only have offices in the States in terms of sales and marketing, so we we’ll be opening a London office and investing more in product development,” he said.

“We’ve invested a lot in our Web site and the mobile Web site, but there is more we want to do—for example, a recommendation engine and an on-device mobile app portal so you can browse our catalog on your phone without having to surf the mobile Web.”

Having recently surpassed 1 billion downloads, GetJar claims to be the world’s second-largest applications store after Apple’s iTunes.

Last year, social networking giant Facebook ran a trial of the GetJar service that lets consumers automatically download the mobile application designed for their particular handset. Its install base has surged from 2 million to 10.5 million in two months (see story).

There’s another app store for that
Mobile app developers need to get discovered, build a marketing channel for mobile users, and scale to massive user bases.

As the battle between open versus closed ecosystems between Apple and Google becomes clearly drawn, the additional investment comes at a time when GetJar seeks to aggressively expand its offering on “open” smartphone platforms such as Android, Blackberry and Symbian.

In the past year, GetJar claims that it has tripled the number of employees, quadrupled the number of downloads per month, signed partnerships with carriers such as Sprint and maintained its profitability despite a challenging economic environment.

“We’re growing very quickly organically, but we will continue to be interested in partnerships and distribution deals,” Mr. Mork said.

In addition to Sprint, GetJar has partnered with Rogers, Sony-Eriksson, 3, Virgin Mobile and 20-plus others over the last 12 months.

Mr. Mork said that this new funding from Accel will be instrumental in taking GetJar to the next level in its business strategy for aggressive global expansion and product development.

Research recently released by Juniper forecasts that the global applications market will be worth more than $30 billion by 2015, with a significant part of this opportunity for publishers coming from multiple platforms.

Mr. Mork said that GetJar is uniquely positioned to ride this trend given its open, cross-platform approach to providing consumers with a one-stop “Walmart-type” destination to find everything they want on any handset regardless of platform. 

“The biggest challenges we address for brands, agencies and developers are discovery and reach—overcoming fragmentation,” Mr. Mork said. “If you’re a brand or a developer and you’re trying toyou’re your app discovered, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack—you put it into an app store, and there are thousands of other apps.

“Any time a consumer lands on a brand’s app download page, it will automatically detect the handset and serve the app that is optimizes for that phone—no matter what handset you have, it will serve you the right version,” he said.

“Another way we help discovery is GetJar’s in-store advertising solution called Pay Per Download, which kind of like Google AdSense for an app store in that it allows you to bid for increased visibility.”