Have you ever wanted to take your favorite Android games, news or travel apps to your Windows PC? A new service from BlueStacks, which announced $7.6 million in financing today from Ignition Partners and others, makes that idea a reality. The company says that it “plays Cupid” between Android apps and Windows, allowing users to download Android apps to any x86-based Windows device.
The 3-year-old startup has drawn comparisons to Renton-based Parallels, which allows computer users to seamlessly switch between Mac and Windows environments. Parallels now employs more than 800 people, and continues to grow fast.
But is there a need for transferring Android apps to Windows?
BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma, the former CTO at McAfee, thinks so.
“Our vision is for an entirely new type of experience that supports the consumer interest in Android and also allows them to access some of the most valuable enterprise applications, enabling them to use their device of choice for work and play, Sharma said.
SlashGear’s Ben Bajarin provided an interesting analysis on BlueStacks last month, writing that it could provide a challenge for Microsoft if developers start creating applications on Android knowing that they could easily be transferred to Windows. CNET also points out the technical challenge of bringing mobile apps — some of which are designed for the touch interface of Android — to a PC-based environment. But Sharma tells CNET that most laptops will incorporate touch in the next two years.
The investment from Ignition marks the latest bet by the Bellevue venture capital firm in a Bay Area company. BlueStacks is based in Campbell, California, with operations in India and Japan. As a result of the deal, Frank Artale from Ignition will join the board.
“Ignition sees a clear demand for what BlueStacks can deliver: a way to help businesses of all sizes and consumers leverage their device of choice for work and play,” said Artale in a release. Other investors in the deal include Radar Partners, Helion Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.