Urban Airship raises $25M for mobile app infrastructure

Faith Merino · February 6, 2013 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/2d64

The company gets support from August Capital and existing investors

If you’re an app developer, you’re competing against hundreds of millions of other apps. If you let your guard down for a minute, your app will be pushed to the back burner and forgotten. That’s why it’s critical to update your app and provide push notifications—which is as close as you can come to yelling “open my app!” In such a competitive game, developers rely on back-end platforms like Urban Airship to provide them with the infrastructure they need so they can focus their attention on more important things, like building the best boob-wobble app out there.

Mobile app back-end developer Urban Airship announced Wednesday that it has raised another $25 million in a round of funding led by August Capital, with participation from existing investors Foundry Group, Intel Capital, True Ventures, and Verizon. The new round brings Urban Airship’s total raised to $46.6 million.

The company had a blowout 2012, with revenues growing more than 400%. It also doubled its headcount and acquired Tello in December.

"The pace of smartphone and tablet adoption is faster than any other technology, and Urban Airship has proven its ability to offer the largest organizations in the world the type of precision-targeting necessary to reach mobile consumers in relevant and meaningful ways," said John Johnston, co-founder and partner at August Capital, in a statement.

The company points out that effective use of push notifications has been shown to double app user retention and quadruple engagement levels. I know I love me some Zulily notifications. Urban Airship’s offerings include solutions for in-app purchasing, subscriptions, context, and geo-location, among others. Some of the company’s customers include Dictionary.com, The Weather Channel, Groupon, Newsweek, Warner Bros., and Yahoo.

When we last caught up with the company in late 2011, Urban Airship’s tools were embedded into tens of thousands of mobile apps that account for more than 240 million individual app downloads. The company couldn’t be reached for comment, but CEO Scott Kveton said in a statement that Urban Airship quadrupled both revenue and push volume in 2012.

"As the mobile relationship imperative moves from early adopters to the wide majority, we are in a fortunate position to be the platform of choice that brands and other technology vendors alike turn to for the ability to speak to mobile users in a way that's personally relevant to them," said Kveton.

The company says it plans to use the new capital to amp up its high-performance and location push messaging platforms, capitalizing on digital wallet and Apple passbook opportunities, and drive international expansion. 

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