AppDirect’s 4th Acquisition Brings IoT Scope To App Marketplace Maker

AppDirect, a growing San Francisco company that organizes marketplaces for Web-based software, said today it’s acquiring AppCarousel, which helps companies create app stores for connected cars, smartphones, and other elements of the Internet of Things.

The acquisition, under undisclosed terms, adds to a recent growth surge for AppDirect, which announced a $50 million Series D funding round in February. It has since bumped up its staff size from about 200 to more than 300 people, and it’s still hiring in San Francisco.

AppCarousel, which has headquarters in Calgary, Canada as well as an office in San Francisco, will operate as an AppDirect subsidiary. It has more than 80 employees, who are staying on.

Both AppDirect, founded in 2009, and AppCarousel, founded in 2011, help companies manage their constellations of software programs, which are increasingly sold on a subscription basis and delivered via the Web, rather than as boxed products purchased once and installed on customers’ own computers.

AppDirect helps program developers such as Samsung create online stores to distribute their own software-as-a-service apps. It also serves software re-sellers such as Staples as they build online marketplaces for Web-based software from multiple providers. As software users, companies can shop on these marketplaces to find a whole range of business apps, from office operations software to cybersecurity systems, and arrange for services such as combined monthly billing.

AppCarousel offers similar marketplace-creation tools for makers of connected devices—like vehicles, fitness trackers, virtual reality headsets, and smart TVs—so they can set up app stores curated to showcase the programs best suited for their products. This e-commerce in apps can provide an ongoing revenue source for manufacturers after their devices are sold, AppCarousel says.

AppCarousel is AppDirect’s fourth acquisition. It started absorbing companies in 2012 by picking up Ottawa, Canada-based company jBilling, which provided billing services to telecom providers, software companies, and others. In 2013, AppDirect acquired Boulder, CO-based Standing Cloud, which was also working on app marketplaces. San Francisco-based data dashboard maker Leftronic was acquired in 2014.

AppDirect, which has raised a total of $110 million from investors, disclosed revenues of $18 million in 2014 and $9 million in 2013. AppDirect has been expanding into Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Both AppCarousel and AppDirect will be hiring in the months to come in Calgary, Montreal, San Francisco, and at other global offices.

Pictured above are AppDirect co-founders and co-CEOs Nicolas Desmarais and Daniel Saks (on right).

Bernadette Tansey is Xconomy's San Francisco Editor. You can reach her at btansey@xconomy.com. Follow @Tansey_Xconomy

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