The phones are ringing for new business at Appia. Not only is the company being backed by a high-profile Silicon Valley venture firm but also is ranked 15th among the top 50 VC-backed firms as selected by The Wall Street Journal.

The developer of a global marketplace for smart phone applications is gearing up for more growth with a new $10 million investment.

Silicon Valley-based Venrock is the investor in a “C” round of new capital for Appia, which recently changed its name from PocketGear. As PocketGear, the company raised $15 million last fall.

Appia could also be raising more money. Asked if the “C” round was over, an Appia spokesperson declined comment.

Dev Khare, a vice president at Venrock, joins the Appia board as part of the deal.

Dov Cohn, vice president for marketing and products at Appia, said the deal with Venrock came together quickly.

“We raised the round proactively,” Cohn explained. “The market is heating up faster that we anticipated when we raised money last summer.

“With the funding last summer, we set up a up global sales team with sales people in Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia – three of the hottest mobile applications markets – and the interest has been overwhelming. We decided to raise more money to scale product development and engineering to meet the growing need more quickly.

“The market success we are having is based on our focus on providing white label application stores, and providing application developers with broad global reach for their applications. Venrock believes in this approach and in Appia’s strategy in this regard and our success on executing on this strategy since the re-launch as Appia.”

White label refers to store fronts developed for clients but run by Appia in their name.


“We are extremely impressed with this team’s vision and experience within the Web and mobile ecosystems, as well as Appia’s success powering app stores for mobile operators, device OEMs and mobile software partners around the world,” Khare said in a statement. “For established Web and mobile publishers as well as emerging application developers, Appia is fast becoming a key distribution channel to consumers globally.”

Jud Bowman, chief executive officer and founder of Appia, said Venrock brings more than funding to the company.

“Venrock’s expertise working with entrepreneurs in the mobile and Internet space adds tremendous value to Appia as we continue to gain traction and momentum with our open app marketplace,” he said. “We are honored that Appia is now a Venrock company.” 

Appia’s headquarters are located in Durham. It also has offices in Dallas and Munich, Germany.


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