Quixey app discovery engine closes $50M Series C round led by Alibaba
Mobile application discovery service Quixey (a Fierce 15 winner) has raised $50 million in Series C financing, vaulting the startup's total funding to $74.2 million. Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group led the latest round, with existing investors Innovation Endeavors, TransLink Capital, U.S. Venture Partners Atlantic Bridge and WI Harper also participating.
Quixey partners with app stores, search engines, manufacturers, operators and Web platforms to help consumers identify mobile apps by typing in a query that describes what they wish to do--e.g., "Track my bills" or "Edit my photos." Quixey originally launched on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, but this spring, the startup teamed with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to create the Switch to Windows Phone app, which helps Android users more seamlessly migrate to Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 platform by recommending equivalent WP8 versions of their favorite Android apps.
Quixey's Functional Search discovery technology also is integrated into Sprint's (NYSE:S) Zone and Digital Lounge content hubs. Quixey said the new funding will support its ongoing Functional Search development--CEO Tomer Kagan told AllThingsD that the company aims to integrate its technology directly into third-party apps installed on users' phones, letting consumers access desired information across a range of preferred apps instead of requiring them to open apps on a case-by-case basis.
"I shouldn't even know about the 50 apps or 100 apps on my phone," Kagan said, noting that proprietary personal assistant technologies like Google Now and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Siri for iOS are limited solely to the databases that Google and Apple choose to query. "They both only answer the question as it relates to their own specific ecosystem," Kagan said.
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