Today San Francisco- and London-based Snappli announced that it has added $1 million in funding from investors including Greylock Partners, Index Ventures and angel investor Klauss Hommels, who has invested in Skype, Facebook and Spotify. The funding announcement coincides with the launch of Snappli’s free iPhone app, which helps mobile users reduce the amount of data they use while browsing or using apps on their smartphones. The company claims that it can reduce data use by up to 85 percent and make mobile browsing up to two times faster.
Aimed at people traveling abroad or who are just conscious of how much mobile data they’re using, the app works behind the scene by redirecting mobile traffic via its cloud network. It compresses data, and also increases mobile browsing speeds. The app also provides monitoring tools, so users can see which apps are eating up the most data, and see a breakdown of their data usage by website and app. And for people who use Snappli abroad, the app shows how much money they saved on their travels.
The company was founded by brothers Roy and Eldar Tuvey brothers after Roy returned from a trip with a giant phone bill due to data charges. “More and more the operators here in the UK and in the U.S. were phasing out unlimited plans and trying to foster high data usage, and we thought there had to be a way of dealing with this issue so that users could continue using the internet and not have to face huge bills,” Roy said in an interview.
The Tuvey brothers previously founded ScanSafe, a Saas web security provider that was acquired by Cisco in 2009, and they said that technology helped them in building Snappli. ”To solve this problem, what you need is a cloud platform that can handle big volumes of mobile data, and we were in a unique position to deliver in that because it uses a very similar technology that we have a lot of expertise in from ScanSafe,” Roy Tuvey said.
Currently working under a freemium model with the iPhone app, the company will be looking to add premium features for their user base, in addition to pursuing the SMB market.
Snappli isn’t the only company in the data compression game. Its biggest competitor Onavo uses a similar cloud-based infrastructure to help consumers cap their data usage on Android and iOS. The company added $10 million in funding in January 2012, and also has an Onavo Count data monitoring app in addition to its data compression application. But there are other apps tackling data tracking and compression, and certainly more will emerge as consumers try to understand and cap their data usage, while their app use and mobile media consumption.
Snappli sets itself apart by not only saving data but increasing the rate at which users can browse the internet on their phones. Tuvey said they’re also the first app to offer video compression, a huge source of data drainage. While today is the public release, the company reports that beta users experienced data reductions of up to 85 percent on Instagram, 77 percent on Facebook, 72 percent on YouTube, and 49 percent on Twitter.
The company, which is currently operating in North America and the UK, plans on expanding their reach globally, with their eyes set on Asia and three other markets in the near future, and is also planning to launching an Android app later in the year, which will help them compete with Onavo. With the previous success of ScanSafe behind them and now several investors on board, Snappili seems poised to make mobile browsing more convenient for everyone.