Urban Airship sails away with $15.1 million in funding

Krystal Peak · November 7, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/2133

Back-end app developer nabs funding from Verizon, Salesforce.com, Foundry and True Ventures

With tens of thousands of apps available on various platform and more premiering every day, companies often struggle to stay up-to-date with needed system improvements and infrastructure changes.

Urban Airship, a company that specializes in developing the back-end of mobile applications, has announced a $15.1 million Series C round of funding from the likes of Verizon, Salesforce.com, Foundry Group and True Ventures.

This brings the Portland-based tech company's total funding since their inception in 2009 to $21.6 million, and on the heels of their acquisition of a location-based software company SimpleGeo.

Urban Airship has seen tremendous growth this year, touting that its services were utilized by more than 20,000 mobile app developers and the company revenue has seen 600% growth year-over-year -- and now breaching 51 employees.

What Urban Airship does

When a developer is about to create an application for any number of mobile devices, they need to create a back-end system and methods of notifications and subscriptions. Urban Airship creates the infrastructure to monitor downloads, feedback, integrate commerce options and add social components to any application.

This would free up developers to create the game or content for the brand and allow a company that specializes in incorporating all the additional options and social elements to do all the other added value elements.

“Companies should not have to rely on a fragmented and unwieldy mix of tools that only deliver part of what is needed to understand how people are interacting with their brand on mobile,” said Urban Airship CEO Scott Kveton, in a statement.

The company’s tools are now embedded into tens of thousands of mobile apps that account for more than 240 million individual app downloads. Developers using Urban Airship's services are on average seeing an increase in overall app engagement by as much as 30 percent and increases in mobile sales up by as much as 40 percent when its notifications are used in combination with time-limited offers.

Kveton told me that there are several other companies in their space but that most are giving the developers pieces of software solutions that have to be intrgrated by others, Urban Airship is focusing on assemling the element for developers so that there is a deeper and richer integration.

"The velocity of change just won't stop in mobile and we are working hand in hand with some of the world's biggest brands to help them set their mobile strategies, and create experiences that consumers will love," Scott Kveton said in a statement. "Now, with this infusion of capital, the Airship is set to really take off."

What's next

Between the new funding and the addition of SimpleGeo technology, Urban Airship will now be able to offer a more complete mobile engagement platform - with scalable infrastructure and a range of tools and services. 

Companies that use Urban Airships notifications, in-app purchasing, subscriptions, context and geo-location include Dictionary.com, The Weather Channel, Groupon, Newsweek, Warner Bros., and Yahoo.

Urban Airship told me that they next will be announcing a some new goals and initiatives now that they have acquired SimpleGeo.

Urban Airship is in the back-end development space with companies such as iCloud, Kinvey, appMobi and Parse. This round of funding brings Urban Airships to the top of the capital pile and may spur more funding for their competition in coming months.


Image Sources -- Urban Airship and TechCocktail

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