The Rdio apps were developed using the Xamarin platform

There’s no shortage of startups trying to help mobile developers quickly and easily build cross-platform apps for an ever-expanding line-up of gadgets, from iPhones to Android tablets to Windows Phone devices.

Now, a new San Francisco startup by the name of Xamarin, which rose from the ashes after layoffs at Attachmate’s Novell unit, is making inroads in that very hot category.  The company today is announcing $12 million in series A funding from Charles River Ventures, Ignition Partners and Floodgate, money it will use to bolster its sales and marketing efforts.

Started as an open source program at Novell known as Mono, the Xamarin platform has already been used by more than 150,000 mobile developers to build apps on multiple devices. The company, with more than 7,500 paying customers, is led by Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza.

“Our mission is to make it fast, easy and fun to build great mobile apps,” said Xamarin CEO Friedman. “We’ve had a tremendous first year, validated by more than 12,000 new developers per month, and millions of dollars in revenue. This funding will enable us to scale our success and better deliver on our mission, bringing millions more developers to mobile.”

Xamarin is in the same space as Buddy Platform, the Seattle area upstart led by former Microsoft employees Jeffrey MacDuff and Dave McLauchlan. It raised $1 million earlier this year.

Ignition actually holds a stake in another startup operating in this arena: San Francisco’s Parse. And last year, Adobe gobbled up the maker of PhoneGap, yet another player.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • amacbeth

    Xamarin is really not operating in the same space as Buddy, though Parse is.

    • johnhcook

      Thanks. Another reader has suggested that too. Can you explain? My understanding is that both offer tools to developers to make it easier to get apps working across various platforms.

      • Charlie Kindel

        Xamarin – makes building the client side easier.

        Buddy/Parse – makes building the server side easier (with some stuff that makes accessing the server from the client easier).

        • johnhcook

          Does anyone do both client and server? And do them both well? Seems like an opportunity. Also, I was trying to track down another company in this space last night, I think that just raised money (began with App), but couldn’t find it. I recall seeing a story in the past week or two about all of the activity in this arena. Anyone else see it?

          • Sebi Vaduva

            Hi John. We’re focused on delivering an end-to-end experience in one unified platform you can try here:

  • guest

    It’s not just “start ups” in this space – Look at IBM’s Worklight. Tough to compete against free (including backend hosting)?

    The reality is that 90% of these HTML.5/CSS3 apps that get wrapped up as “native,” could just as easily reside on the Browser. Just because you can add some GPS feature doesn’t mean it’s wise or valuable to the end user.

    I find it amazing that these ventures are getting funding when there is increasing competition and securing a loyal developer base is getting tougher and tougher. And as Browsers become more robust, the need for these platforms will diminish.

    • Rabi Satter

      Xamarin is .NET it is not HTML. It allows a developer to build iPhone and Android apps using .NET. The big advantage is that enterprises that have a .NET code base can use Xamarin to extend onto devices using language, API and logic they are familiar with already in this case .NET.

  • Jeff MacDuff

    Xamarin makes amazing tools and technology which makes it easier to build cross platform apps for a specific technology set (c# / .NET in this case). This is a client tooling experience for developers meaning all that “cloud” stuff needs to still be sourced if you need it in your app.

    Buddy builds a cloud only service which focuses on delivering a top of the stack cloud solution. If you need cloud support for scenarios like user accounts, photos, places, friends, etc Buddy provides a ready to use API. We are a ready to use cloud “top of the stack” API for mobile apps.

    We don’t compete… but we are better together :)

  • Brenden West

    Xamarin lets developers code apps in .NET & C# and publish to IOS or Android. So targeting folks who already know msft technology stack.

    They were in town a few weeks ago handing out books and buying drinks. Nice guys.

Job Listings on GeekWork