Taptu Receives $3.5 Million in Series B, Will Launch White Label Social News Aggregator Tapform

Taptu, a social media and social search company, announced today its plans to expand beyond its current lineup of mobile apps in order to include a new, white label offering called Tapform. As the name implies, Tapform is a platform for publishers, developers and hardware manufacturers interested in building their own social news aggregator.

The launch will be made possible by way of Taptu’s newly-received $3.5 million in Series B funding from U.K.-based DFJ Esprit and French firm Sofinnova.

Although social news is clearly a crowded space at the moment (see Flipboard, Zite, AOL Editions, Tweetmag, Pulse, etc.), Taptu offers a unique feature it calls “DJ’ing” the news. This refers to Taptu’s ability to let its users mix streams from various media sources like blogs, Twitter, RSS feeds and more.

Taptu itself also offers 12,500 streams built by its own editorial team, for those who aren’t as interested in the hands-on content creation business as they are in the consumption. And the majority aren’t – only 10% of Taptu’s customers use the DJ feature.

Says Taptu CEO Mitch Lazar, the key difference between his company’s product and competitors is the search technology that powers the app – a technology that has been around for over 5 years. This core engine is what Taptu is all about. It was only recently put into the new interface – the mobile and tablet offerings you see today. The repositioning began in May 2010, with a relaunch in November and then iPad and Android tablet apps following this April and May, respectively.

Although Taptu won’t disclose the number of installs it has, it’s happy to talk growth and engagement numbers. Specifically, 60% of the company’s growth has come since the launch of the tablet apps in April (iPad) and May (Android).

Also, 50% of its customers have now become monthly users. And Android users are more engaged than those on iOS, comprising 60% of the traffic, with 2.5 visits per day and reading 19 stories. iOS users visit twice per day and read 12.5 stories.

Prior to this announcement, Taptu has been working on deals to get its app pre-installed on tablets.  We should see the first results of those deals sometime around the holidays, on the Android platform.