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FiftyThree, creator of Apple's app of the year, raises $15 million

ScienceApple iPadSony Corp.

FiftyThree, the developer of the app that won Apple's iPad app of the year award, has raised $15 million in funding, led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

The developer, with offices in Seattle and New York, rose to fame late last year when Apple selected its app, Paper, for the award. Paper is a free app that turns iPads into digital sketchbooks. Within the app, users can buy different types of tools so they can make more detailed sketches and draw in different colors.

Paper has been downloaded more than 8 million times, but with the newly raised round of funding, FiftyThree will now focus on creating more tools for mobile productivity.

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In a blog post, Andreessen Horowitz's Chris Dixon said Paper is just the tip of the iceberg for FiftyThree.

"They’ll be expanding their engineering teams in New York and Seattle, and will broaden their offerings across software, services, and hardware," Dixon said.

FiftyThree draws many of its team members from Microsoft projects that include Office, the Xbox, and Kinect and even the Microsoft Courier, an innovative tablet computer never released to the public.

The company said it will use its funding to change how users collaborate on projects and to move beyond the touch screen and "into the physical world of accessories."

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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