Xamarin, makers of cross-platform frameworks for building mobile applications, today announced a $12 million round of funding from Charles River Ventures, Ignition Partners and Floodgate. This is the first round of funding for Xamarin, which develops Mono, an open source project that brings Microsoft’s .NET development framework to non-Microsoft operating systems like Android, iOS and Linux. The company also made headlines when it used a tool called Sharpen to translate all of Android 4.0’s Java code into C# and open sourced the whole thing as XobotOS.
The company was founded in May last year by Miguel de Icaza and the rest of the Mono team. Mono was originally developed at de Icaza’s previous company Ximian, which was acquired by Novell in 2003. Novell continued funding the development of Mono after the acquisition. But in December 2010 Attachmate acquired Novell. In May Novell laid off the entire Mono team. Just two weeks later de Icaza announced Xamarin.
Although Mono is free and open source, Xamarin makes money by selling enterprise licenses and support for MonoTouch (an implementation of .NET for iOS) and Mono for Android. In July 2011 Novell granted Xamarin a perpetual license for both products, which let Xamarin avoid having to rebuild the products from scratch.