Ina Fried

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Salesforce, Verizon Decide to Take a Ride in an Urban Airship

Hot on the heels of its acquisition of SimpleGeo, Urban Airship has landed $15 million in new funding.

The company, which specializes in providing notifications and other infrastructure for mobile apps, has attracted the eye of both Salesforce.com and Verizon, which are leading this round. The company has served up seven billion notifications so far, and is now doing some one billion a month.

Urban Airship has been riding high on the launch of iOS 5, which has an improved system for notifications. In the weeks since the new version of Apple’s operating system was made available, the company is seeing calls to its application programming interface increase tenfold. Indeed, when the OS first went live, all sorts of alarms were triggered, and the Urban Airship team thought one of its customers was having a glitch.

“It was just usage,” Urban Airship CEO Scott Kveton said.

Kveton said that the company will use the new money to beef up its infrastructure to handle the increase in traffic, and to expand its operations into Asia and further into Europe.

“This gives us the gas we need to do exactly that,” he said.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald