June 28, 2010, 1:20 PM

GetJar, the anti-Apple app store, raises $11 million

GetJar specializes in selling mobile apps that operate across non-Apple platforms.

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The Apple App Store, which serves up mobile apps for the iPhone and other Apple devices, is the undisputed leader among app stores. But lesser-known GetJar, which offers apps for non-Apple platforms, claims to be No. 2. And that position in the fast-growing market for mobile apps, some of which consumers pay for, helped GetJar raise $11 million last week in a second round of funding from venture capital firm Accel Partners.

GetJar says it will use the funds to develop its consumer facing sites, GetJar.com and m.getjar.com, its Pay-Per-Download application, and other technology. GetJar, founded in Vilnius, Lithuania, specializes in apps for non-Apple phones, such as those that run on the Android, Blackberry and Symbian operating systems.

The company says consumers have downloaded over a billion apps from its sites, and that the number of downloads per month has quadrupled in the past year. Apple’s app store has exceeded 5 billion downloads, according to Apple Inc.

"We doubled down in this Series B due to GetJar’s momentum as the leading open platform in the mobile apps space," says Rich Wong of Accel Partners. "Mobile app developers need to get discovered, build a marketing channel for mobile users, and scale to massive user bases. With over 1 billion downloads to date, GetJar has led the industry to create this unique, cross-platform app store solution.”

“It’s hard to believe that six guys that set up the first beta testing community for mobile app developers would eventually transform into the world’s second-largest app store,” says Ilja Laurs, founder and CEO of GetJar. “We look forward to our continued partnership with Accel Partners, and this new funding will be instrumental in taking GetJar to the next level in our business strategy for aggressive global expansion and product development."

GetJar says it has tripled its work force in the past year and remained profitable despite the economic downturn. The company has offices in Lithuania, the United Kingdom and Silicon Valley.

GetJar says it offers more than 50,000 apps on its site. The Apple App Store features more than 225,000 apps, according to Apple, which does not provide a breakdown of how many are free and how many charge. The average price for a non-game app that the developer charges for is $3.15 and for a game $1.35, according to 148Apps.biz, a web site for Apple iPhone developers.

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