App Store GetJar Downloads $11M Series B


Lots of people are enjoying playing with their new iPhone 4 right about now. So it’s a pretty good bet that lots of them are upgrading and downloading tons of apps on their newest toy from Apple by going to GetJar.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company earlier this month announced that it has downloaded more than 1 billion mobile apps from its independent store for use on Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, iPhone and Symbian, among 2,000 other phones. GetJar ranks as the second largest app downloader behind, of course, Apple’s app store.

Late Wednesday, just as Apple’s latest iPhone was due to arrive in stores and rival smart phone makers Motorola, Google and Verizon announced Droid X, the latest Android device, GetJar also unveiled that it raised an $11 million Series B round, funded entirely from return investor Accel Partners. The funding follows a $6 million round that GetJar raised from Accel in 2007.

I spoke earlier this week with GetJar Vice President of Marketing Patrick Mork, who said that since 2008, when he joined the company, GetJar has increased the number of downloads from 14 million to about 80 million a month and has raised its headcount to more than 40. Mork also said that the company, which was previously based in Lithuania, where founder and CEO Ilja Laurs started it and self-financed it during its early stages, has been profitable since its first round of funding from Accel. Representing Accel on the deal is Kevin Comolli and Rich Wong, who’s fresh off of his AdMob sale to Google.

Accel’s interest in exclusively funding GetJar speaks volumes to their belief in the long-term prospects of the company and the burgeoning app economy, said Drew Ianni, founder of AppNation, a software consulting firm and organizer of the AppNation conference devoted to the business of apps.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg for GetJar and the industry as we will see the connected device market grow by the hundreds of millions over the next few years, and they will all feature apps,” Ianni wrote to me in an email. “Downloads will continue to increase exponentially. Look for GetJar to continue being one of the key players.”

What App to Download?

BTW, Mork told me that the most popular apps to download include those that have social connectivity uses, such as Facebook and eBuddy, among others. Also popular are anti-virus downloads and better mobile phone browsers, such as Opera Mini.

Overall, the company says that it provides more than 65,000 mobile applications to consumers in more than 200 countries, with the apps coming from established publishers and little known developers.

Another popular app is a dictionary developed by Vikrant Chavan, an independent developer in India. His simple English language dictionary has achieved nearly 8 million downloads since it was launched.