Mobile app search company Quixey, which has been focused on solving the challenges with app discovery, and counts among its customer base names like Ask.com and Sprint, confirmed today it has raised $60 million in a strategic Series C1 funding round led by Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba. Other investors in the round included SoftBank, GGV, Goldman Sachs. To date, this additional investment brings Quixey’s total raise to $133.8 million.
Alibaba previously led Quixey’s Series C, announced back in October 2013. GGV had also participated in that round at the time. The company’s two largest investors to date include Alibaba followed by USVP.
News of the funding was previously reported by Re/code, who also noted the company would be valued at $600 million if the deal went through. They also said that one of the new investors in the round would include Twitter . However, Quixey says today that Twitter was not an investor.
Quixey has been a longtime participant in the mobile search space, and develops a technology that goes beyond just connecting people with new applications. Instead, it’s also focused on helping people find the content found within applications. For example, if you were searching on mobile for something like Thai food, Quixey’s technology could return results from across apps, including things like Yelp reviews of restaurants or a Groupon deal.
This technology, referred to in the industry as “deep linking,” is something that all the major tech players are taking advantage of today, including companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter, as well as startups like URX, Branch Metrics, Button, and many others.
Notes Quixey in a blog post announcing the news, “our technology surfaces the functionality buried deep within apps and can search across any app and bring up its core action, such as booking a flight, reserving a restaurant or researching a doctor. In order to build a future on mobile, we need better mobile search to become a reality.”
CEO Tomer Kagan explains the choice in investors, saying that Quixey’s focus continues to be not only the U.S. but also India and China. “We are very proud to have new overseas investors that represent some of the strongest global players in the internet,” he tells us. The company already works with several overseas customers in these markets, and the new investors could open up the doors to more opportunities.
“We are proud to have continued support and validation from Alibaba and with addition of SoftBank as an investor it only bolsters our execution and expansion in these markets,” adds COO Guru Gowrappan. “They bring breadth and depth in these markets, and we will look to actively partner and leverage their strengths to double down on new partnerships and execution.”
Quixey historically has worked to power app search for a number of companies, including OEMs and browser makers – including many whose names it couldn’t disclose. It says today it powers 100 million queries monthly, and its current partner list includes Skyfire, DuckDuckGo, Microsoft, StarHub, Alibaba.com, and Nokia, in addition to Ask.com and Sprint. For investor Alibaba, Quixey powers search for the company’s YunOS.
Quixey also launched a sponsored ads feature similar to Google’s AdWords as a revenue driver, and runs a developer-focused initiative called AppURL focused on deep-linking.