Big exit news in the Baltics: Lithuania-founded GetJar has reportedly been acquired by Sungy Mobile Limited, a Chinese company behind Go for Android and a top publisher of applications on the Google Play store. The news broke over at GigaOm, and according to their sources, Sungy paid over $50 million for the company. GetJar has raised $42 million since being founded in 2004.
Since then, the company has moved to San Mateo, California and has seen solid success as a secondary marketplace on Android. GetJar uses its own virtual currency - the largest on Google Play - which allows users to get free rewards for trying new apps. The company claims to have more than 100 million users.
Om Malik assumes that the reason behind the acquisition is with so many applications available in the Google Play store, the world needs better discovery features. "App discovery — or helping app developers get installs — can be a lucrative business, as Facebook has shown. In the most recent quarter, Facebook brought in over $1.24 billion in mobile-only revenues, a big chunk coming from app-install related ads," he writes.
Last Slush I had the opportunity to interview GetJar founder, Ilja Laurs, where we talked about the company's story. They've come a long way to get to this exit - for instance when they first started picking up traction, they Laurs got a call from Accel Partners. At that time, they were somewhat clueless about venture capital, or that anyone would want to invest in companies, so Laurs almost referred them to invest in the Stock exchange or something.
You can find that story and more down below.