MoboTap, developer of a mobile browser for Android, announced Monday that it has secured $10 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Matrix Partners.
Competing with Google’s default browser, as well as Opera Mini and Firefox, MoboTap’s “Dolphin” browser for Android boasts power, speed and elegance. One of the app’s signature features allows users to draw customizable gestures on the mobile device’s screen, like a heart shape or an ‘f’, and the browser will know to go to some pre-configured Web address.
The company says it has acquired more than eight million users since it first launched Dolphin back in March 2010. On the Android Market, the browser has a 4.5 rating from over 91,000 reviews. For comparison, Opera Mini has a 4.3 rating from over 129,000 reviews and Firefox has a 3.4 from nearly 31,000 reviews.
So, for being a less well-known brand, MoboTap has done a very good job of having its browser keep up with the competition.
In addition to the funding, MoboTap today also launched Dolphin Browser HD v6.0, which introduces a new feature dubbed Webzine. Designed to “bring out the beauty of the web,” Webzine displays Web pages as an array of thumbnails, making for a simpler and smoother browsing experience for users on touchscreen devices.
The browser offers hundreds of Web and magazine subscriptions from the likes of Cosmopolitan, Entertainment, Health and The Wall Street Journal. (I'm told by a company spokesperson that the app doesn't grant the user free access to premium content. To get past the WSJ paywall, for example, you still need to be a subscriber.)
When you’re done reading all that content, you can (of course) visit Facebook, Twitter and/or Sina Microblog, a microblogging site for users in China.
MoboTap also offers a lighter-weight version of the app called Dolphin Browser Mini.
The new funding will be used to fuel faster product development and to expand in new markets.