After raising just shy of $23 million over the past 5 years, Skyfire today announced that they’ve raised their second biggest round of funding to date. Coming in at $8 million dollars, this Series C round is being funded by Verizon Investments (as in Verizon Communications’ venture arm) along with new investments from previous investors Matrix Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
So, what’s Skyfire need the $8 mil for? They list three key spots: to “meet the demands of its growing list of wireless operator customers through increased engineering” (read: to keep doing what they’re doing), “sales and support resources” (read: to pay people to sell it), and to “expand into European and Asian markets” (read: to… yeah.)
Skyfire also tells us that their “Rocket Toolbar” — a web-based tool bar that sits at the bottom of your browser and adds various social network sharing buttons to just about every page of the Internet (which, unless I’m misunderstanding things… sounds kind of terrible) — has found a partner in one unnamed “tier-one” US carrier. Meanwhile, their “Skyfire Rocket” engine (which compresses streaming video on-the-fly by about 60% when the network is congested) found two tier-one partners, also unnamed. Given that there are only four US tier-one carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless) and the details of today’s investment, it’s probably safe to assume Verizon is in there somewhere.
And for anyone keeping track of how Skyfire’s main public-facing product, the Skyfire browser, is doing: across iOS and Android, it’s just passed its 12 millionth download.