RockMelt June 29 said it just bankrolled $30 million in funding from new investors Accel Partners and Khosla Ventures and existing investor Andreessen Horowitz, a move that will help the company hire new talent and accelerate product development, marketing and partnerships.
Launched last November with the blessing, funding and support of browser pioneer Marc Andreessen, RockMelt’s sole product is a social Web browser based on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chromium open-source project.
The browser lets users access and chat with their Facebook contacts from the left-hand rail in the application, with Twitter and other applications accessible in the right-hand rail.
By adding the social tools to the browser, RockMelt aims to keep users engaged longer than they would in Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Chrome.
The browser certainly hinges on social tools, but it also leverages Google’s search engine to help users find content. There is also a version of RockMelt for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone.
More than 1 million people have tried their hand at RockMelt, which now boasts hundreds of thousands of active users who use it on an average of 6.5 hours a day. RockMelt is now in its third beta, which for the first time includes integration with Facebook.
RockMelt beta 3 lets users manage Facebook friend requests, messages and notifications directly in the browser instead of solely on Facebook.com. When users start a chat on Facebook.com, it will open a RockMelt chat window.
Now RockMelt is freshly flush with cash, and has raised $40 million in funding to date.
Existing investors Bill Campbell, chairman of Intuit and Apple board member, Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital, and angel investor Ron Conway joined Accel Partners, Khosla Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz in the latest infusion.
Jim Breyer of new investor Accel Partners and Vinod Khosla of new investor Khosla Ventures will join RockMelt’s board of directors.
“There are so few people who have founded or funded multiple industry-changing, billion dollar companies,” observed RockMelt CEO and co-founder Eric Vishria.
“Marc Andreessen, Jim Breyer and Vinod Khosla are three such people. We are humbled and thrilled to be working with such an incredible group.”