Company will use financing to enhance expansion in key emerging mobile markets and build relationships with strategic business partners
Aptoide, the world’s largest independent Android App Store, today announced the completion of a US$4 million Series A round of financing, led by e.ventures and followed by Gobi Partners, Golden Gate Ventures and existing investor Portugal Ventures. By bringing together key investors from Europe, China and Southeast Asia, Aptoide will use this round of investment to accelerate growth in target markets and build strategic relationships with regional partners.
Founded in 2011, Aptoide is the world’s largest independent and alternative Android app store. By adopting a community-centric approach, Aptoide allows developers, OEM, telcos and integrators to create and manage their own Android app store. Users can access the main store, while also searching for other popular or interesting stores that are operated directly by independent brands and developers. Aptoide currently offers three apps to meet a wide range of user needs, including the flagship Aptoide app, which has recently been updated to version 7.0; Aptoide Lite, a slick app dedicated for budget devices and slower internet connections; as well as a dedicated store for Android Smart TVs and set top boxes.
With over 100 million yearly active users, Aptoide currently offers more than 500,000 applications available for download and reached the two billion app downloads milestone in 2015. This “didn’t come as a big surprise” for the COO, Álvaro Pinto, underlining that since the community of users “is the main responsible for Aptoide’s growth”.
Aptoide is also available in 29 different languages. The company is headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal, and also has regional offices in Singapore and Shenzhen, China. For this round of financing, Aptoide will accelerate global rollout efforts, with an emphasis on Latin America and Southeast Asia; and will work closely with Chinese device developers to include Aptoide as a preferred service provider for end users.
“Over the past few years, we have gained strong user retention as the world’s leading independent Android App store. By expanding into some of the world’s hottest mobile markets and building relationships with key business partners, we believe that Aptoide will be able to provide quality apps to more users around the world,” said Paulo Trezentos, Co-founder and CEO of Aptoide. The e.ventures’ global platform, in liaison with strong regional VC firms, "will help Aptoide strengthen its position as a leading App store in this fast growing segment,” remarked Christian Leybold, Managing Partner of e.ventures europe, “We are thrilled to be working alongside such a fantastic and dedicated team of founders and investors.”
“China and Southeast Asia are two of the world’s largest mobile markets both for manufacturers and consumers. By working closely with local OEMs and telcos, we believe that Aptoide will be available for more users around the globe,” said Thomas G. Tsao, Managing Partner, Gobi Partners.
“In emerging Asia, mobile consumers need a strong alternative app store to discover and engage with products built by local developers. Likewise, local developers need their own direct channel to access users and also monetize more effectively. Aptoide has consistently been listening to their users and working tirelessly to deliver what they want. They will continue to push harder to exceed users’ expectations going forward.”, added Jeffrey Paine, Managing Partner, Golden Gate Ventures
“The international round of investment that Aptoide has now completed is first and foremost further proof that national entrepreneurs and start-ups have reached a level of development on par with the best. Paulo Trezentos and his team have positioned Aptoide on the international market, in a highly competitive area. The round, led by E Ventures, shows just that. For Portugal Ventures, it is still very important to start seeing the results of its strategic objective, with investments in tech start-ups promoted by young Portuguese entrepreneurs,” said Marco Fernandes, CEO and Chairman of Portugal Ventures.
Prior to this round of financing, Aptoide received a US$1 million seed round of financing from Portugal Ventures in 2013 through the initiative “Call For Entrepreneurship”.
Aptoide is an App Marketplace for Android where the users can create they own store. While it was incorporated in 2011, the project was born in 2009, following a summer internship at a software company. It has been growing fast since, doubling users and downloads every year. In January, 2015, Aptoide reached breakeven six months ahead of planning.
Aptoide is available in all Android platforms (Web, Smartphones, Tablets, Set top boxes and Wearables). In parallel to the official Marketplace, it provides white label solutions for OEMs, Telcos and integrators to create, customize and manage their own Android stores.
e.ventures is a global venture capital firm with offices and teams in the US, Brazil, Germany, Russia, China and Japan. The fund focuses on early-stage consumer internet and software companies with ambitious founders and unique approaches. Its past investments include category creators like AppAnnie, Groupon, Farfetch, Sonos, Munchery, and NGINX. The firm’s team has been investing in Internet companies for more than 15 years and operates as one global team by combining a global investment strategy and philosophy with local presence and insights.
About Gobi Partners:
Founded in 2002, Gobi Partners is a leading venture capital firm with an investment focus on early-stage, digital media, IT and TMT companies. Headquartered in Shanghai, Gobi has six offices across China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The firm has raised eight funds to date, and has invested in over 100 portfolio companies across China and ASEAN over the past decade.
Gobi’s dynamic team of veteran investors and professional managers works closely with portfolio companies, providing hands-on counsel and a wide range of value-added services to help them achieve sustainable growth and stay ahead of the curve. Well-tuned to the pulse of the industry, Gobi’s investments include dozens of successful and rapidly emerging companies such as Camera360, CIB (acq. by Asiasoft), Cloudwise, CSDN.net, DeClout (5UZ.SI), DMG (acq. by VisionChina:VISN), Eko Communications, Hermo, Line0, Madhouse (acq. by BlueFocus:300058.SZ), MainSpring, Opzoon (acq. by Harbin Gong Da High-Tech: 600701.SH), PICOOC, Stardrobe, Tuniu (NASDAQ:TOUR) and Yoyi Digital. For more information, please visit http://www.gobivc.com.
About Portugal Ventures:
Portugal Ventures focuses its venture capital investments in innovative, scientific and technology-based companies with competitive advantages for global markets. We partner with exceptional entrepreneurs, in all economically relevant sectors, assisting them in achieving new levels of competitiveness and success at all stages of development and enabling high-growth Portuguese companies to achieve global status. Founded in 2012 as a result of the merger of the three state-backed Venture Capital & Private Equity firms, Portugal Ventures manages around 450 M€ in assets, and has more than 100 portfolio companies.
To facilitate the access to seed capital, every 3 months Portugal Ventures runs a new call for applications to ensure a strong engagement with the entrepreneurial community and enable the fast processing of the deal flow, while ensuring quality evaluation with the participation of a large pool of expert reviewers, both in Portugal and abroad. With the purpose of supporting the development and growth of Portuguese start-ups, Portugal Ventures has established acceleration and innovation hubs in some of the most dynamic ecosystems in the World (San Francisco, Boston, Austin and Berlin). http://www.portugalventures.pt/en
About Golden Gate Ventures:
Golden Gate Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing across Southeast Asia. Since 2011, the firm has invested in over 30 companies across more than 7 countries in Asia. To date, their portfolio has raised over USD$150M in the region. The firm invests in internet and mobile startups across many sectors, including e-commerce, payments, marketplaces, mobile applications, and SaaS platforms. With its regional footprint and existing portfolio, the firm aims to add value and assist startups to excel and expand from one country to another.