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Branch Raised $60 Million Series C from Playground Ventures

Branch, a startup making tools to enable developers to provide links between websites and apps, has raised a $60 million Series C round of funding from Andy Rubin’s Playground Ventures, according to sources.

Branch — formerly Branch Metrics — launched in 2014 to provide better analytics and improve app discovery and referral programs. It offers tools that app marketers can use to create deep links between web and app content, as well as email to app content.

It works with email campaign managers and also plugs into a number of analytics tools so marketers can test various campaigns to see which are most effective for driving downloads or even commerce in-app.

To fund the next phase of its platform evolution, Branch has raised a new round of financing from Andy Rubin’s venture fund. Rubin, who is best-known as the founder of Android, left Google in 2014 and spent some time wandering the wilderness before re-emerging with $300 million in capital to incubate and invest in startups.

While Rubin is clearly interested in hardware (and is apparently working on a new smartphone), the Playground fund isn’t solely focused on that vertical. He and his team are also interested in quantum computing, AI and machine learning, and have made a few investments in those areas.

Branch’s tools generate a huge amount of data based on the relationships between apps and services that it has access to, which is why an investment in Branch might make sense. With this data, the company could create an index of the app ecosystem that is similar to the way that Google and other search engines indexed the Web.

When asked about the funding round by email, Branch CEO Alex Austin responded: “We’ve seen tremendous growth and adoption of deep linking over the last few years and have been fortunate enough to become the clear market leader. There’s so much more we can accomplish in deep linking and this money will be used to fund Branch’s continued platform growth.”

Prior to this financing, Branch had raised $53 million in funding, including a $35 million round led by Founders Fund just over a year ago. Other investors include New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Pear Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, Madrona Ventures, Zach Coelius and Ben Narasin.

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