Scott Kveton, CEO/co-founder of Urban Airship, the company whose services take the sting out of push notification and in-app purchase — and sponsors of this site! — wrote to let me know that they’d closed a $1.1 million series-a funding round.
This was rattling around in my brain along with a recent memory that Chomp, the Yelp for apps application, had raised around half a million dollars from well-known Bay Area investor Ron Conway.
On the surface, Urban Airship and Chomp appear dissimilar. However, they both exist to exploit byproducts of the iPhone ecosystem. They’re iPhone ecosystem plays.
Both also feel free. Urban Airship new pricing structure lets you send 250,000 push notices a month for free; why would I want to write the socket code to handle push myself with this as an option? Chomp earns their money through Apple’s affiliate program — they take 5% of the app purchase price, but this comes out of Apple’s cut — so they’re even more free.
These provide a pattern to emulate and learn from. Have a look at Urban Airship’s funding press release for smart language linking their offering to Amazon’s web services.
It’s heartening to see series-a and angel funding for iPhone ecosystem companies. It’s a nice counterbalance to the episodic company/developer leaving iPhone development cycles we see every few months.