Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, SoftBank Set To Lead $60M Funding In Quixey

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So far, Quixey has raised $75 million in three rounds of funding

Alibaba, SoftBank, Twitter and others are in advanced talks to invest $60 million in app search engine Quixey. Sources familiar with the matter told Kara Swisher of Re/code that the funding deal is yet to be closed. It will value the Mountain View-based start-up at $600 million. Other investors participating in this round include GGV Capital, Goldman Sachs and an investment firm of billionaire George Soros.

Alibaba is one of the largest investors in Quixey

Alibaba, GGV Capital and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors are the existing investors in Quixey. The company was founded by CEO Tomer Kagan and Chief Scientific Officer Liron Shapira in 2009 to help users discover mobile apps. The Silicon Valley Business Journal has called Quixey “the Google of mobile app search.”

Kagan said that there would be 1.5 billion active smartphone users by 2016, and Quixey would be at the epicenter of this new world. It helps users find the right mobile apps for their needs. It crawls the Web for mentions of an app in reviews, blog posts and social media to look for patterns. So far, Quixey has raised $75 million in three rounds of funding, and Alibaba is one of the largest investors.

Twitter shows interest in mobile developers

Twitter’s investment in the start-up is quite interesting. The microblogging company has been focusing more on mobile developers. In October last year, Twitter rolled out a new mobile app development platform called Fabric to woo third-party developers. The company’s MoPub service generates revenue by placing ads in other apps.

In October 2014, Alibaba signed a deal with Quixey to power its deep search and app search for YunOS mobile operating system. Quixey serves as the only app-related search provider for YunOS. Alibaba’s mobile OS has failed to gain traction with less than 2% share in Chinese smartphone market. Earlier this week, the Chinese e-commerce giant invested $590 million in smartphone maker Meizu to expand the reach of its YunOS.

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