Appcelerator Extends Mobile App Dev Reach With Cocoafish Buy

Appcelerator, which specializes in platforms for quick and flexible deployment of mobile applications, has acquired Cocoafish, a provider of mobile app infrastructure. It's Appcelerator's third acquisition in the past year, intended to deepen the company's expertise in the rapidly growing market for enterprise-grade mobile applications.

Founded in 2006 and based in Mountain View, Calif., Appcelerator has a healthy following behind Titanium, an open-source app development framework that uses a single codebase and, according to Appcelerator, has been used in more than 35,000 mobile applications. The idea is that users can build applications on Titanium using standard languages like HTML and JavaScript, and Titanium does the work of converting those applications to different platforms.

Cocoafish specializes in mobile app features such as push notifications, location services, social integration, ratings and reviews, and photo manipulation. It was founded in 2010 and is based in San Francisco.

Appcelerator said Thursday that it will have the Cocoafish services integrated into Titanium by early in the second quarter of 2012. They'll be branded as "Appcelerator Cloud Services" and priced according to usage.

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"Nearly all of our developers and customers have been manually adding cloud service functionality to their mobile applications since we launched Appcelerator's Titanium Platform three years ago," Jeff Haynie, Appcelerator's CEO, said in a statement. "Cocoafish is by far the most complete mobile cloud solution, and combined with the Titanium platform, Appcelerator is delivering everything a developer needs to build rich, connected applications."

Appcelerator has had a partner program in place since October 2009 and targets advertising agencies, systems integrators and other solution providers who want to offer app development but don't want to contract the work out to expensive third party developers or converting each app for individual platforms.

The company has been on a growth tear lately, and is now the third largest third party app publisher in both the Apple and Android mobile app marketplaces. In November, it confirmed a $15 million round of funding from a group of companies that included Mayfield Fund, TransLink Capital, Red Hat, eBay, Sierra Ventures and Storm Ventures, and earlier this year, hired a well-known Gartner analyst, Michael King, to be its principal mobile strategist.

Cocoafish is its third major acquisition in a year. In October, Appcelerator bought Particle Code to add an integrated native, hybrid and HTML5 web application solution to its stable, and in January 2011, it picked up Aptana, another development platform that combined with Appcelerator to form an app development community more than 1,500,000 developers strong.