World’s largest independent and alternative Android app store Aptoide has raised a $4 million Series A funding, led by e.ventures, with participation from Gobi Partners, Golden Gate Ventures and existing investor Portugal Ventures.
The Portugal-based startup will channel this round of financing into the acceleration of its growth in target markets, 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.
Prior to its Series A, Aptoide had received a $1 million seed round of financing from Portugal Ventures in 2013 through the initiative “Call For Entrepreneurship”.
Founded in 2011, Aptoide adopts a community-centric approach, allowing 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.
“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,” Co-founder and chief executive officer Paulo Trezentos said.
The e.ventures’ global platform, in liaison with strong regional venture capital firms, will help Aptoide strengthen its position as a leading app store in this fast growing segment,” e.ventures Europe managing partner, Christian Leybold, remarked.
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. Its past investments include AppAnnie, Groupon, Farfetch, Sonos, Munchery, and NGINX.
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.
Chief operating officer Álvaro Pinto, noted that 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.
Gobi Partners managing partner Thomas G Tsao noted that 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,” he said.
Golden Gate Ventures managing partner Jeffrey Paine commented that mobile consumers in emerging Asia 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.
Portugal Ventures chief executive officer and chairman Marco Fernandes said Aptoide’s international round of investment is further proof that Portuguese entrepreneurs and startups have reached a level of development on par with the best.
“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,” he said.