Silicon Valley start-up rollApp gleans US$1m Series A funding, plans to exit beta testing

1 Jul 2013

Image via rollApp's Facebook page

Palo Alto, California, start-up rollApp has obtained US$1m in a Series A funding round led by LETA Capital. On the start-up scene since 2011, rollApp is a developer of a software-on-demand service that aims to instantly deliver existing third-party software applications to any web browser-equipped device over broadband or 3G. The start-up is now planning to exit beta mode and to start monetising from its service.

rollApp has been beavering away on an online service it says will instantly run any existing unmodified software on any internet-connected device: ie, Windows programs on iPad or iPhone apps on Android devices.

The company offers a free beta version of this technology that works with Windows and Linux applications on iPad, Chrome OS devices and desktop operating systems ranging from Windows to MacOS and Linux.

The US$1m Series A funding in the company is being led by LETA Capital, a funding arm of the Russian IT-holding company LETA Group. TMT Investments, which made a seed investment in rollApp in 2011, is also participating in this round.

rollApp plans to use the latest funding to spin out of its beta stage of development to support more devices/platforms and, ultimately, to start monetising the service.

While in beta, the service has already attracted a lot of interest from users, rollApp claims. During the last eight months, the company says it has experienced more than 50-fold traffic growth.

rollApp’s advisory board includes industry veterans such as Vivek Wadhwa, vice-president at Singularity University (he was in Ireland for a Startup Dublin event in May), and Bjarne Stroustrup, the author of the C++ programming language.

No need for downloads or installs

“Technology developed by rollApp eliminates the need to rework existing software products every time when a new platform enters the market,” said Vlad Pavlov, rollApp founder and CEO, in a statement today.

He said there is no need to change existing apps to make it possible to use them on new devices.

“And there is no need to develop new software to work with existing files from the new devices.”

Pavlov said the start-up has already published a critical mass of apps on its platform. The idea is that people will be able to use rollApp to view and edit virtually any file. This would include documents, spreadsheets, pictures, e-books, archives and mind-maps, Pavlov said.

The process, he said, happens instantly inside a browser – from almost any device – with no need for any downloads or installs.

“We are confident in the success of the rollApp story,” said Alexander Chachava, managing partner of LETA Capital, who will be joining the rollApp board of directors.

“RollApp has a very ambitious management team,” he said. “They were lucky enough to attract some of the best experts on the planet to join the rollApp crew.” 

He said rollApp solves the problem of working with different platforms.

“A user must always have an option of working with any program or document, regardless of the device being used. rollApp seamlessly resolves this issue.”

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic