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Cloud marketplace platform AppDirect has raised $8.5 million in its first round of funding.

AppDirect’s platform has made it possible for companies like Deutsche Telekom, Bell Canada, Appcelerator, and new partner Rackspace to launch cloud service marketplaces. High-profile apps, including Google Apps, DocuSign, SendGrid, New Relic, and Cloudability, are part of AppDirect’s syndication network and end up for sale to more than six million end users.

“Every app is no longer relevant unless it has an app store,” AppDirect co-CEO Daniel Saks told VentureBeat. “This has really changed the game for people who want to distribute cloud services.”

On top of AppDirect’s funding, it has put together a deal with Rackspace. Rackspace  — the No. 2. cloud-hosting provider after Amazon Web Services — will now be able to sell a whole host of apps to its many cloud customers via AppDirect, opening up a new revenue stream and keeping its customers happy with a bunch of new options. AppDirect will take a small cut of each transaction (as it does in every store it powers) and rake in the dough.

“We’ve only just hit the tip of the iceberg for partnerships,” Saks said.

The new round of funding was put up by existing investors iNovia Capital and Stingray Digital. Combined with the company’s $3.25 million seed round last year, AppDirect has raised about $12 million in total.

San Francisco-based AppDirect was founded in mid-2009 and has about 45 employees. Sacks said the company plans to hire another 50 employees before the end of the year and will open an office in Europe by the first quarter of 2013.

Photo credit: AppDirect/Rackspace


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