Back in May, BlueStacks, the startup that has developed software to let Android users run their apps on all Windows PC, tablets, and laptops, raised a $7.6 million series A, pre-launch. In October, the startup followed up with a $6.4 million series B from AMD, Citrix Systems, with participation from existing investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Ignition Ventures, and more.
Its series B round followed closely on the heels of the alpha launch of its App Player for Windows, which is basically a free software download that will give users one-click access to Android apps on any Windows PC, tablet, or laptop. (And the ability to view these apps in full-screen.) Complementing the App Player, BlueStacks also released “Cloud Connect”, a cloud-based service that allows PCs to become a veritable extension of any Android-based mobile device — and vice versa.
While $14 million in funding seemed a bit bubble-ish for a startup with an alpha product (especially considering half of the investment was raised prior to to launch), we’ve learned from BlueStacks that the early adoption has been significant. Since launching six weeks ago, the startup’s App Player has been downloaded over half a million times, 550K+, to be more precise.
Of course startups are happy for all of us to fawn over vanity metrics, but the BlueStacks team did admit that this early adoption caught it by surprise. Especially the extent to which downloads are taking place outside of the U.S. The Americas account for 32 percent of the App Player’s downloads, with Europe and Asia both seeing over 31 percent of downloads as well. The startup recently expanded to support XP and Vista a couple weeks ago, as many Chinese users are still using XP, for example.
The App Player launched in October with several “app partners” pre-loaded, including Bloomberg, LivingSocial and Drag Racing. And we here more are on their way. In conjunction, there are over 250,000 apps available on BlueStacks’ Cloud Connect mobile app, which allows users to push apps from their phone into the startup’s player.
The early signs show that this is definitely a startup to watch, but chime in to tell us what you think. Is this a valuable technology?