Miami, Florida-based Labotec has landed a round of funding from Kima Ventures, a European early-stage investment fund founded by entrepreneurs and angel investors Jeremie Berrebi (Zlio, Net2One) and Square backer Xavier Niel (Free, Iliad).
The VC firm thus joins Kipost and FS Ventures as investors of the crowd-sourced mobile app development venture. The size of the round remains undisclosed, but we hear the amount of financing totaled just south of a seven-figure sum, so we’ll peg it at in between $800,000 and $999,999.
Labotec offers a relatively unique way of mobile app publishing, based on crowd-sourcing ideas from third parties. Basically, people who have ideas for mobile applications on any of the major platforms but lack the time, development skills or resources to actually build them can submit their ideas through the Labotec website.
The ideas are subsequently evaluated by Labotec, and if one gets thumbs up from a committee of unnamed field experts associated with the company, Labotec funds the entire development, distribution and marketing of the app. The IP is co-owned by whoever submitted the idea – targeted are carriers and handset manufacturers – and Labotec.
The ‘Inspirer’ (the person or organization that brought forward the idea for the app) doesn’t pay a cent, but if the app ends up generating revenue, the first $25,000 that it makes goes to Labotec – no matter how long it took to get to that point. After that, the Inspirer gets 50% of any revenue that may follow. Labotec notes that they’re still testing this model and that it is subject to change in the future.
Labotec says that it has received hundreds of new project ideas from 27 countries since its inception in May 2009. A total of 3 applications out of those ideas have launched (iSOS for Android, iMove2Music and FakeSMS for iPhone) and 20 are slated for release by the end of this year – which basically means a lot of the submitted ideas are junk.
The company says it plans to use part of the just-raised capital to hire 10 more developers of mobile apps for platforms such as iPhone, Android, iPad and BlackBerry.