Local Tech Wire

DURHAM, N.C. – is dialing up for growth with $12.5 million in new venture financing.

The startup, which provides a variety of services to smartphone manufacturers and developers, disclosed the funding in a filing with the SEC on Thursday.

PocketGear’s new funding follows the acquisition of rival rving,-Texas-based Handango.

“We now believe we are the largest independent apps store in the world beyond Apple and Google apps,” PocketGear founder and Chief Executive Officer Jud Bowman told Local Tech Wire at the time of the deal.

“We are excited about this transaction because it combines two of the largest independent apps stores. It’s also about bringing together the largest base of applications and more than 32,000 developers.

“It’s also really about scale and expanding our global reach.”

Combined, the companies have generated more than $400 million in sales, Bowman said. “It’s evident we’re growing pretty fast,” he added.

Alex Bloom, the CEO at Handango, joined PocketGear as its chief operating officer. Bowman and Bloom are old friends, having worked together at Motricity.

The acquisition closed on Friday and boosted PocketGear’s full-time employee count to 40. The firm also has some 20 contractors. Some 18 people are based in Irving.

Launched in June 2008 as a spinoff from mobile content services firm Motricity, PocketGear is backed by venture capital firms Wakefield Group and Noro-Moseley Partners.

PocketGear had already touted itself as the “world’s largest mobile app store” with more than 100,000 applications and digital media titles available before the Handango deal.

App stores already available include one for Android applications as PocketGear moved quickly to capitalize on the core operating system developed by Google. Other stores focus on popular operating systems to support Palm, BlackBerry (Research In Motion) and Symbian devices.

The storefront list:

• PocketGear.com
• SymbianGear.com
• PalmGear.com
• RimGear.com
• Smartphone.net
• Mobile2Day.de
• AndroidGear.com

The new equity funding drive started June 9. The minimum investment was $31,500, according to the filing.

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