Photo: Urban Airship
Urban Airship, which helps companies add features like push notifications and in-app purchases to their mobile apps on multiple mobile platforms, has raised a $15 million Series C round with strategic investments from Verizon and Salesforce.The Verizon investment was expected, but Salesforce is a bit of a surprise, as that company has mostly invested in other business software firms.
Urban Airship CEO Scott Kveton told us that the money will be used to increase the company’s sales force and to expand beyond North America to Europe and Asia. It will also look to buy more companies — last week it bought location-tracking company SimpleGeo.
“In the mobile market things are really heating up, so consolidation is inevitable. SimpleGeo is the first of many acquisitions we’ll be doing.”
Urban Airship has about 20,000 customers and is serving more than 1 billion notifications a month. It’s now at about 50 employees, although the new round will increase that.
They won’t have any trouble finding space for those employees because the company’s headquarters is in Portland, Oregon — not Silicon Valley, where space is expensive and scarce. “We have a huge office here,” Kveton told us. “With about 4,000 square feet of extra space.”
Being based in Portland also helps the mobile startup attract great engineering talent and focus on shipping products. “We’ve been able to hunker down over the last two and a half years and build a very compelling business. We haven’t had to compete with Google, Facebook, or Zynga — or Microsoft or Amazon….It’s kind of our secret weapon.”
Existing investors Foundry and True Ventures also participated in the round. The company has raised more than $21 million so far.