If you’re a Windows user, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with the concept of bundled software — you download an application you want, launch the installer, hit the “Next” button a few times, and find that you’ve inadvertently installed a spammy app that will haunt you for the rest of your PC’s life. OpenCandy is a startup that’s looking to reverse this trend by offering users bundled apps that they may actually want to use. Today, the company has closed a $5 million Series B funding round led by Google Ventures, with existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners and O’Reilly Alpha Tech also participating. The company previously closed a $3.5 million Series A round in 2008.
OpenCandy founder Chester Ng says that the company spent last year shaping the company’s product and showing that its model could actually work — now, they’re looking to scale, developing into new markets and forging more partnerships (along with bolstering hiring efforts).
As we’ve discussed in our previous coverage, OpenCandy offers a few key differences from standard bundled software. Developers who integrate it don’t actually embed a second tag-along application with their installer. Instead, OpenCandy’s platform uses some server-side intelligence to suggest applications that are relevant to the one you’re installing, and it only downloads the app after you’ve told it to. And instead of making it the default option to install a bundled OpenCandy app, users always have to elect to install it. Finally, OpenCandy says that they only allow high quality applications into their list of suggestions — not just anyone can join the program.