Urban Airship raises $1.1M to provide infrastructure for mobile apps

Urban Airship, a company that helps developers build mobile applications by providing services like push notifications and in-app purchases, has raised $1.1 million in funding, led by True Ventures with participation from Founders Co-op.

The Portland, Ore. company isn’t the only one offering these kinds of services for app development — is another — but it says it was the first to actually deliver on those promises. In fact, Urban Airship says that Tapulous was the first game publisher to feature push notifications (notifications sent from an application even when it’s closed) on the iPhone, and that it did so using Urban Airship services. Now the company has 1,500 customers, and has sent more than 100 million messages to more than 10 million mobile devices.

Looking ahead, chief executive and co-founder Scott Kveton said Urban Airship plans to expand its services, especially by expanding to other mobile devices like those running Google’s Android operating system. It’s not just mobile phones, either — Kveton said there’s a lot of interest from Urban Airship’s customers in infrastructure for apps built for Apple’s new iPad tablet.

“Our customers are knocking down the door saying we need support for the iPad,” Kveton said. “Skeptics are saying the iPad may not be relevant. But it’s a way, way better Kindle, and the Kindle is a successful device.”

Urban Airship actually launched at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat conference last year, which is also where Kveton met one of his investors — Chris DeVore, who was at the event to demonstrate his own product, AppStoreHQ, but who is also an investor at Founder’s Co-op.

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