Language technology business SwiftKey has welcomed Index Ventures as a new investor and closed its latest venture capital funding round.
The $17.5 million (£11.2 million) transaction will help SwiftKey, which constructs applications and technology to facilitate easier and faster text entry, to expand its product portfolio into new areas.
Index Ventures has led the round alongside Octopus Investments and other angel backers including Somo’s Nick Hynes and Carl Uminski and Jon Craton, previously of Cramer Systems.
According to SwiftKey, the investment round follows a period of ‘robust global growth’, during which its keyboard application (app) remained the bestseller on Google Play.
Prior to landing its $17.5 million round, SwiftKey had taken in $4.1 million over three rounds dating back to an initial $1.25 million deal led by Octopus Investments in September 2010.
Speaking to GrowthBusiness, Richard Gibson, CFO at SwiftKey, says that the business has been operating on a dual-track revenue system involving the selling of its app to consumers and licensing of its technology to OEM manufacturers around the world.
‘The market we operate in doesn’t sit still, just look at the case of Nokia. We are very focused on being innovative and, whilst we are known as a keyboard technology business, the innovations built by Ben Medlock [co-founder] can be applied to a number of different challenges,’ Gibson adds.
‘The purpose of this new round is to give us the financial resources to follow those opportunities at a rapid rate.’
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As well as building on the overseas activity which has seen SwiftKey set up offices in San Francisco and Seoul, the business will be using its newly-secured cash to enhance its text entry technology. The new innovations referred to by Gibson include developments in the fields of natural language processing and machine learning.
According to a statement, SwiftKey has achieved revenue growth of five-fold year on year and now has 100 staff.
Martin Mignot, partner at Index Ventures, comments, ‘As a huge global commercial hit, SwiftKey’s world-beating technology and astonishing growth rate means the team is now perfectly positioned to take the US market by storm.’
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Going forward, SwiftKey’s US growth will be headed up by co-founder Jon Reynolds, who will relocate to the company’s San Francisco office.
Reynolds adds, ‘With revenues increasingly substantially we’ll have the financial resource to grow our team and continue to build market-leading mobile technologies.’