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App discovery boost: AppGratis secures $13.5 million funding

Follows US launch
App discovery boost: AppGratis secures $13.5 million funding
Date Type Companies Involved Size
Jan 17, 2013 investment AppGratis Iris Capital $13.5m
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App discovery platform AppGratis has secured $13.5 million in a Series A funding round led by pan-European VC firm Iris Capital.

AppGratis which recommends one undiscovered app to its users each day plans to use its new capital to invest in new talent, improve its technology and R&D efforts, and continue its international expansion.

This cash injection arrives just one month after AppGratis launched in the US.

In total, the app recommendation service is now available in over 120 countries, boasts a userbase in excess of 7 million users and attracts an average of 100,000 new users each day.

A new discovery

"The AppGratis team has built a successful, profitable business in a short period of time and they are in a strong position to become the global leader in app discovery," said Iris Capital partner Sophie Dingreville of the investment.

In other words, the funding is a sign of faith in AppGratis' solution to the problem of app discovery a problem that app store operators don't seem particularly fussed about solving. 

Indeed, Apple has been actively clamping down on discovery and promotion services in recent months, through a new clause in its App Store App Review guidelines.

AppShopper, for instance, recently fell foul of the new rules, which prohibit the in-app display of "apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store."

AppGratis founder Simon Dawlat who grew the company from an email newsletter into a business that drove 100 million referral clicks to the App Store in 2012 is understandably pleased with the investment and what it can do for his business.

Standing out from the crowd

"We're helping developers build visibility for their apps at a time when the App Store can seem overwhelming with choices," Dawlat said.

"Our app recommendations are tailored over time to user preferences, which drives high success rates. When we feature an app, we can deliver over 500k app downloads that day.

"It's a win-win for both developers and consumers."

He's also supportive of Apple's attempts to moderate app discovery platforms closely, previously telling that the giant is "shooting for the highest quality possible."

"Apple is probably trying to prevent the App Store from being spammed with too many app-promoting apps. But for us, it has always been about app curation at a very high level."

Read our exclusive interview with AppGratis founder Dawlat here.