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TECH SPACE
Venture firm Accel pours 11 million dollars into GetJar

by Staff Writers
San Francisco, Usa (AFP) June 24, 2010
Venture capital firm Accel Partners is pouring 11 million dollars into GetJar, an online hot spot for free mini-applications for mobile telephones.

The infusion of cash was announced Thursday, less than three weeks after California-based GetJar delivered its billionth download and secured its place as the world's second largest "app store" behind Apple's online shop.

The billionth download logged at m.getjar.com was reported to have been an application for finding nearby restaurants and attractions, and it was sent to a smartphone running on Google-backed Android software.

"It was the second time on the planet anyone has announced this kind of number," said GetJar founder and chief executive Ilja Laurs. "We're looking forward to the next billion downloads."

Apple announced in January that it had logged more than three billion downloads from its App Store, which specializes in mini-programs for the company's popular iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices.

GetJar boasts virtual shelves packed with mini-applications for any type of mobile phone serviced by any carrier anywhere.

"GetJar is completely open; any developers and any business model," Laurs said. "We just make sure the application is legal, that is the only thing we care about."

About 317,000 software developers have accounts to submit programs to GetJar, which boasts a collection of more than 73,000 mini-applications crafted for thousands of different types of handsets.

In April, India's second largest mobile phone firm Reliance Communications announced a tie-up with GetJar for mobile application services.

Reliance would get access to GetJar's catalogue of over 65,000 mobile applications for 100 million subscribers, the flagship firm owned by Anil Ambani said in a statement.

Reliance Communications customers will have access to games, social networking, sports and entertainment applications at a charge of one cent per megabyte used, the company said.

The Series B funding from Accel will go into a GetJar recommendation engine and other improvements to bolster the start-up's position in the increasingly competitive mobile applications market, according to Laurs.

Accel has a reputation for smart bets in the technology sector and the list of firms it has backed includes social networking star Facebook and Chinese Internet search king Baidu.



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