With more than 140,000 apps on the iPhone alone, there is a real need for services which help you find the best apps. Apple’s iTunes ratings and genius recommendations only go so far. One startup attacking this problem is French-Israeli AppsFire, which just raised its first angel round. AppsFire was co-founded by former TechCrunch France editor Ouriel Ohayon and Yann Lechelle.
The investors are a group of successful French entrepreneurs (yes, they exist), including Marc Simoncini (CEO of dating site meetic.com), Jacques-Antoine Granjon (CEO of Vente-Privee.com), Xavier Niel (CEO of French ISP Free), and entrepreneur and angel investor Jean-David Blanc (who also recently invested in Square). The amount raised wasn’t disclosed but it is believed to be in the low seven figures.
AppsFire offers a simple utility app which makes it easy to share iPhone app recommendations with your friends. Since its beta launch last summer, more than 10 million apps have been shared, leading to hundreds of thousands of clicks to iTunes. It also highlights apps through its AppStar Awards. Recently, AppsFire started promoting its own short link for iPhone apps, http://getap.ps/, which opens up iTunes on both the iPhone and desktop computers to a specific app’s page. While you are waiting for iTunes to open up, information about the App appears on the landing page, developers who use getap.ps will get analytics on conversions and other stats. This America Life (http://getap.ps/thisamericanlife) and DailyMotion (http://getap.ps/dailymotion) are already using it.
The startup plans to move beyond the iPhone to other mobile devices with growing app markets such as Android and Blackberry. It also recently launched PasteFire, a way to share other things such as Web links, emails, phone numbers, and photos to and from your iPhone. It will start to give users app recommendations based on the content they copy in PasteFire as well. The whole focus of the company is to help people discover new apps and drive more downloads and sales of apps. Competitors include Appolicious, 16Apps, and others.