UK-based mobile “social search” engine startup Taptu has secured £6.45m ($9.86m) in Series B funding from existing investors 3i and Sofinnova. The company has also appointed Andreas Bernstrom as its new COO to grow the company commercially and work on monetizing search engine. Bernstrom was previously COO at Internet marketing company TradeDoubler. He joins founder and CEO Steves Ives, former founder of Trigenix, which was acquired by Qualcomm in 2004.
The company claims about 1 mobile million searches a day, which is peanuts compared to Google and Yahoo.
Taptu’s mobile search engine allows search results to be shared with friends via email and text messaging. It also has the ability to allow results to be shared with friends via email, mobile-to-mobile and Twitter. In January 2008, they launched an API to allow 3rd party sites to tailor results to users. The first partner to use this was Moblr, a site which allows you to view videos uploaded to the site directly on your mobile.
Mobile search is often touted as the next big thing in search, so clearly Taptu’s backers are confident that it will play a key role in this going forward.