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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Quixey, a search engine for apps, said it had raised $20 million in Series B funding to fund expansion in technological capabilities as apps become the predominant way people access the Internet.
The 30-person start-up, based in Palo Alto, offers users a "functional search" toolbar to pinpoint the one app that best suits their needs out of the countless that are in existence.
When an iPhone user needs an app to record music, or an Android user wants to log keystrokes, they can go to Quixey to find the appropriate product, said chief executive Tomer Kagan.
"Apps are the new software," said Kagan. "Whether it's making medical decisions, entertainment decisions, anything you want. Apps are the next generation of software wrapped in easily consumable solutions."
Quixey is expanding its product at a time when apps seem to be overtaking the open Web for Internet users' attention. A December study from Flurry Analytics showed Americans spending 94 minutes a day using mobile apps versus 72 minutes browsing the Web.
Apple, for instance, boasts more than a half million apps in its tightly curated App Store, while Google boasts even more for its Android mobile platform. Facebook is on the verge of rolling out an app store with the hope of encouraging software developers to build a full-fledged ecosystem of apps on top of its platform as well.
Quixey's new funding round, was led by Atlantic Bridge Capital, SK Telecom Ventures and TransLink Capital. Previous investors including US Venture Partners, WI Harper Group and Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors provided additional investments.
With the capital, Kagan said he hopes to expand his team's technological capabilities by building out software that can intuit what functionality the user is searching for without depending on specific keyboards.
Quixey is also looking to strike partnerships with major mobile carriers and phone manufacturers to include the software in smartphones, to help new owners discover apps they would find useful, Kagan said.
Editing by Jacqueline Wong