White-label mobile app platform Appia (formerly PocketGear), is announcing that it has secured $10 million in new funding from Venrock. According to sources familiar with the matter, the startup was valued at $100 million in the round. This latest investment brings Appia’s total funding to $30 million. Dev Khare, Vice President at Venrock, has joined the company’s board of directors.
Until February, PocketGear wss an independent marketplace that billed itself as the “World’s Largest Mobile App Store which sold apps for Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, Symbian, and Java phones. The company rebranded and shifted focus as Appia, powering a white-label content and commerce platform for everyone and anyone who needs an app store. The company now powers mobile app storefronts for more than 40 partners, including four of the world’s top five handset manufacturers (Samsung, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless).
Appia also recently announced partnerships with Opera Software, to power the Opera Mobile Store for more than 100 million users, as well as with Telcel, Mexico’s largest operator, to power the Ideas Appstore for Telcel’s 64 million subscribers.
The bonus of using Appia’s white-label offering is that it enables its partners to deliver apps to more than 3,200 different mobile device makes and models. Via its partnerships, Appia currently powers more than 500,000 downloads a day from a catalog of 140,000 apps with projections to double by mid-2011.
Jud Bowman, founder and CEO, Appia tells us that the company is seeing success because it is just not feasible for companies to create an iTunes-like platform in-house. It could take years and a massive amount of resources, and because of this, carriers, and other technology companies are looking for easier ways to create open app marketplaces. Appia says that it will use the new funding towards international expansion and new product development.
Bowman may be on to something—there seems to be a rush of companies (i.e. Amazon) who are looking to take part in the explosion of mobile apps. But getting traffic to many of these stores is going to be a challenge as the mobile app marketplace world becomes more fragmented.