Swype, which allows mobile device owners to input text with the swipe of a finger rather than the traditional tap, has pulled in an additional $2.5 million in venture capital financing from existing investors, reports All Things D. The money comes on top of a $3.5 million round that closed in late March, and brings total funding in the company to nearly $15 million.
Swype was started by Cliff Kushler, the Seattle inventor who previously created the Tegic T9 text input system for mobile phones. That software is among the most downloaded on the planet, and the Swype team has equally ambitious plans for the latest invention.
“(T9) is quite possibly the world’s most prolific technology,” said CEO Mike McSherry earlier this year. “We have similar ambitions with Swype.”
Swype has been pushing the envelope this year, rolling out new technologies (including old-school tapping) and expanding to new devices (the company says it plans to target Windows 7 tablet computers).
The All Things D report also notes that Swype — installed on 50 million mobile devices — has been profitable for the past few quarters. Interestingly, as we noted last week, Swype has yet to come to the iPhone even though some hackers are pushing to make that happen and McSherry says they have a fully functioning service ready to go for iOS devices.
Backers of the company include Ignition Partners — which led the $3.5 million round in March — as well as large handset makers such as Samsung, Nokia and Docomo. Seattle’s Benaroya Capital also is an investor.
Swype, now with more than 80 employees spread across offices in Seattle, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Korea, issued a press release this morning confirming the new round. In it, the company said that the new money would help enhance growth “with the goal of becoming the default keyboard for all touch-screen devices.”
The company said it plans to have the technology preloaded on more than 100 million devices by the end of the 2011. Swype is already available on 50 percent of Android devices.
Here’s a look at the latest release of the software: