GetJar, the independent app store that has chalked up 1.5 billion downloads to date, announced that it has raised $25 million in Series C funding. The round was let by Tiger Global Management, with Series A and B round leader Accel Partners also participating.
The company, which has now raised a total of $42 million, said it will use the new financing to aggressively expand its efforts to be the premier open Android alternative—which essentially translates to trying to beat Google at its own mobile game.
GetJar’s unique play is that it supports all mobile developer platforms—the company reports 327,000 participating developers, and that its apps are accessible by more than 2500 devices. GetJar’s major partners include Yahoo!, Sprint, AT&T, Openwave, Rovio, Zynga and Glu Mobile.
The company’s founder and CEO Ilja Laurs, who is from Lithuania and relocated the company’s headquarters in part to raise VC funding, recently commented in Venture Beat about the differences in business environments of Europe and the U.S.—in particular, that the VC-backed model doesn’t work in Europe because of restrictions on companies in the startup phase.
“To say the least, these rules are not VC-model friendly. Europe’s controlled business environment prohibits the level of experimentation necessary for VC-backed enterprises, particularly in regards to hiring and firing. VCs in the U.S. understand that the parameters of the classic business model do not apply to the businesses they back. In the years to come, expect Europe and the rest of the world to become more VC compatible, like their U.S. counterparts They’ll have to if they want a share of the new IT world.”
GetJar’s success in raising VC funding is a strong testament to the need for independent marketplaces for distribution of cross-platform apps—for the sake of both end customers and app developers.