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$25 Million: Flying High and Going Big

It’s hard to believe that less than four years ago, Urban Airship was four guys and two desks. Now we have four offices and two acquisitions under-the-belt, with recognition as being world-leading by our two key industry associations including being named the Mobile Marketing Association’s Global Enabling Technology Company of the Year and CTIA’s Best Emerging Mobile Marketing & Advertising Solution.

Today, I’m ecstatic to announce that we have received $25 million in funding led by August Capital with participation from existing investors including Foundry Group, Intel Capital, True Ventures and Verizon. We’re going big in 2013!

By every measure our business is growing leaps and bounds: doubling our staff in 2012, doubling our number of offices (hello Palo Alto and London), and achieving more than 400% year-over-year revenue growth. For the first time EVER, we actually didn’t need the funding. But if you look at the rate of smartphone and tablet adoption and how consumers’ behaviors are driving fundamental changes in the way organizations in every industry interact with their customers, this funding will allow us to take a massive preemptive strike to accelerate the business.

We will more than double our number of employees in 2013 (yes, we have job openings; 41 of them right now). We’re also accelerating our solution roadmap, advancing both our high-performance and location push messaging platforms and capitalizing on digital wallet and Apple® Passbook® opportunities, which opens up a whole new market for us to help businesses that don’t yet have mobile apps.

But enough about us… Our funding marks the third significant round landed by Oregon growth-stage companies in less than a month, including Janrain and Puppet Labs. The tide is changing. If you know me at all, you know how jazzed I get about the positive force of entrepreneurship. Not only does more funding in Oregon mean more families are financially supported, it means that more people are buying into the visions of what we are creating here. The next growth-stage companies are just around the corner and the next successful exits will fuel the next turn of the entrepreneurial crank.

The path of the entrepreneur is not an easy one. We launched in the midst of the worst recession in a generation. The mobile app market was in its infancy, and nine months into it I was zero for 30 on the fundraising trail with a lot of people telling me we were crazy. But we had a vision and a working product, and we stuck to it. There are too many people to name that offered me the advice and mentorship that enabled us to get where we are today. And I try to pay it forward, setting aside weekly times to local entrepreneurs seeking similar advice.

Even more important, every single Airshipper has a level of insight into the business normally reserved for executive teams. They know our cash-on-hand, our gross margin, our burn rate and our 2013 strategies. They work hard and they play hard, and if they ever leave they will do so with the knowledge of what it takes to build a strong independent company.

Sound like a place you want to work? We’re hiring…it bears mentioning twice.

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