Funding Gives Urban Airship a Push


mobiletv.jpgADOTAS – Despite the seemingly endless parade of alerts and updates smartphone users are hit with, Scott Kveton, CEO of mobile infrastructure builder Urban Airship, doesn’t see a wave of notificaion fatigue hitting mobile users anytime soon. Rather, users are demanding more targeted notifications and ones that provide actionable data.

Investors seem to agree as Urban Airship just closed a Series A round of funding with $1.1 million led by True Ventures.

The company’s specialty is push notifications that alert a user to an update via a pop-up box even if the alerting app is not currently being used. For example, it’s work with Tapulous, makers of the music-based game Tap Tap Revenge, allowed 25 million users to challenge each other to games within the interface.

Many times the messages appear similar to SMS, but instead they use the data network, which provides enhanced speed as well as a higher capacity for messages.

“SMS tend to be fire and forget, while we can get some analytics about user engagement through the data network,” Kveton acknowledged.

In addition, Urban facilitates the integration in-app purchasing functions for mobile publishers. The fledgling Portland, Ore., company has had 1,500 clients so far, including large media organizations and entertainment companies as well as mobile couponers Yowza. Urban has delivered 110 million messages to 10 million devices.

Currently the company mainly provides infrastructure services for iPhone, as the big opportunities are in that market — Kveton noted that partners are attracted to the higher level of user engagement. However, the funding will go toward developing a multiplatform solution and expanding Urban’s engineering team.

The smartphone market is in its infancy and there is gaping hole in the infrastructure, Kveton said.

“We’re in a nice space,” he added. “People knock on our door all day long with interesting projects.”


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