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Xamarin Adds $54M for Mobile App Development

Xamarin Inc. this morning announced a third round of funding from several investors -- some current, some new -- that will go toward expanding the company's mobile application development tool offerings, as well as expand its sales and marketing teams. The $54 million in this round, from Charles River Ventures, Floodgate and Ignition Partner -- to name a few -- builds its coffers up to $82 million.

Xamarin produces a set of tools for developing mobile apps across multiple platforms using Xamarin and C#, with the aim of allowing as much code sharing as possible through highly developed APIs. Just this week, the company announced a Unified API for its Xamarin.Forms APIs to allow improved code sharing between Android and Apple apps.

Xamarin Vice President of Product Marketing Jo Anne Buckner said that the company currently sees Appcelerator, PhoneGap and Kony among its chief competition from a marketing perspective, but rarely sees itself selling against those companies when engaging prospective clients. "Interestingly enough, in terms of direct customer interaction we compete the most with the platform-specific languages, Objective-C, or Swift on the iOS side and Java," said Buckner.

Buckner said that the company has been running in the black ever since the first round of funding in 2012, and the decision to raise the third series was mainly to "go faster on the sales and marketing side." She cited an IDC research report that forecasts enterprise mobile app development spending will top $4.8 billion globally by 2017.

Xamarin currently has its Xamarin Platform, a set of tools for building out mobile apps for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows platforms in Visual Studio and C#, and last year it introduced the Xamarin Test Cloud, a portal for testing mobile apps that includes the gamut of emulations of iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac interfaces.

The company also earlier this year debuted Xamarin University, a subscription-based training service offering remote instructor-led training on all aspects of the mobile application development lifecycle, as well as a certification for those who achieve Xamarin mobile app development mastery.

Buckner hinted the company is poised to develop tools that will span the mobile application development lifecycle, but wouldn't offer specifics. Right now, the company provides build and test aspects of the mobile app lifecycle, with Xamarin Platform and Xamarin Test Cloud. What's missing, at least for now, are tools for designing, prototyping, deploying, and monitoring, and Buckner said details of new offerings would be released nearer to its Xamarin Evolve Conference in Atlanta in early October.

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