It looks like Apple is planning to make some improvements to app discovery in iOS 6, but for the time being, app discovery remains broken on virtually every mobile platform available today. Ooomf wants to change this. The Montreal-based startup, which graduated from FounderFuel‘s spring 2012 accelerator program, is launching its app discovery platform today meant to help users and developers connect by making users active participants in the app development process.
The company also just announced that it has raised a $500,000 seed round led by Montreal’s Real Ventures, an early stage seed fund, with participation from BDC Venture Capital and a number of undisclosed angel investors.
As part of this round, BDC Venture Capital also provided ooomf with $150,000 in the form of convertible notes after the company completed the FounderFuel program. According to Dominique Bélanger, the director of strategic initiatives and investments at BDC Venture Capital, “the case of ooomf is a fine example of the Canadian startup ecosystem coming together to support one of our best tech hopefuls.”
Ooomf says that it plans to offer developers a set of tools for storytelling and to improve engagement with their users. These users can, for example, actively participate in the development process by voting on an app’s icon design or by helping developers craft their branding or messaging. According to Mikael Cho, the CEO and one of the co-founders of ooomf, his service taps into the same basic user psychology as Kickstarter by creating “a desire for end users to identify and support their favorite app makers.” Getting discovered in Apple’s app store, says Cho, is difficult. What’s even more difficult, though, “is reviving an app has after it’s fallen out of the top rankings into the App Store graveyard.”
The company has already formed partnerships with the app developer network Application Developers Alliance and mobile app data service Appitalism.