SwiftKey Raises $17.5M to Expand Product Portfolio, Fuel Global Expansion
Company behind best-selling keyboard app SwiftKey raises $17.5M to expand product portfolio and fuel major US push.
LONDON & SAN FRANCISCO --
The award-winning language technology company SwiftKey, whose keyboard app was the top-selling paid app on Android's Google Play store in 2012, confirmed Wednesday a $17.5M (£11.3m) series B investment round led by Index Ventures.
The London-based business will use the capital to fuel further innovation in the fields of Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, enhance its text entry technology and expand its product portfolio into significant new areas. The investment also underscores SwiftKey's commitment to rapid expansion in North America, where it already has an office in San Francisco, and Asia, where it has an office in Korea and a staff presence in China and Japan. Co-founder and CEO Jon Reynolds is relocating to San Francisco to oversee the company's US rollout.
The investment round follows a period of robust global growth for the business, primarily financed through strong revenue generation. SwiftKey's top-selling keyboard app remains the global bestseller on Google Play, while the company also licenses its technology to several leading OEMs, including the world's biggest smartphone manufacturer Samsung.
Index Ventures led the round alongside previous investors Octopus Investments and a number of notable angel investors. Significant new investors join existing angels including Nick Hynes and Carl Uminski (Somo), Jon Craton (previously Cramer Systems), and the Cambridge Capital Group.
Founded in 2008, SwiftKey has previously received $4m (£2.5m) in equity funding. With revenues growing five-fold year on year, the company has tripled in size to 100 staff over the last 12 months, opened offices in Seoul and San Francisco and moved to a three-storey headquarters in London.
"Smartphones and tablets are revolutionizing the way we communicate - but there's still so much potential for innovation and we're determined to lead the transformation of this space. This major finance round enables us to aggressively pursue that vision, breaking new ground with our world-class language technology," CEO Jon Reynolds said.
Richard Gibson, SwiftKey's CFO added: "SwiftKey has a hugely supportive shareholder base with successful angel investors and Octopus, a leading London-based VC. Index Ventures has an incredible track record of backing exciting, innovative businesses so we are pleased to have their team alongside us as we take our business through the next phase of growth. With revenues increasing substantially we'll have the financial resource to grow our team and continue to build market leading mobile technologies."
Index Ventures' partner Martin Mignot said: "As a huge global commercial hit, SwiftKey's world-beating technology and astonishing growth rate means the team is now perfectly positioned to take the US market by storm. We see every indication that they will succeed in a very big way."
Jo Oliver, Director on the Ventures team at Octopus, added: "The team has done brilliantly to establish SwiftKey as the world's leading text prediction technology. The business has developed very rapidly since our initial investment in 2009, and it now has a great opportunity to leverage its strategic position. Octopus continues to be really impressed by the team and it is great to have Index and other notable angels join as co-investors. We look forward to continuing to partner the team on this exciting journey."
SwiftKey, which is listed on Companies House documents under the name TouchType Ltd, was founded in 2008 by friends Jon Reynolds and Dr Ben Medlock.