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Dolphin gets $10 million boost from Sequoia, others

MoboTap, the company that makes the mobile browser for Android OS, reportedly plans to use some of the funding for such projects as making the premium version of the app free and developing an iOS version.

Dolphin, a customizable mobile browser for Android OS, is getting a big boost to being a serious competitor for Firefox and Chrome.

TechCrunch is reporting that MoboTap, the company that makes Dolphin, has secured $10 million in a round of Series A funding with the help of Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners. Some of that funding will reportedly be going to the following projects: making the premium (and paid) version of the app free, expanding its employee bases in San Francisco and Beijing, and developing an iOS version.


Sequoia Capital also made headlines last week after helping Evernote to secure $50 million in another round of raising venture capital funds.

In case you're not familiar with Dolphin, it is a mobile browser just like any of the other major ones on smartphones today but with some more user-friendly features that have been promised for these apps in future updates but just aren't there yet. For example, tabbed browsing already exists in Dolphin but not for Safari until iOS 5.

Other nifty features include gesture writing (using your fingertip to write instead of typing on a virtual keyboard), a "speed dial" interface for bookmarks, and a user agent that is touted for simplifying the process of toggling between desktop and mobile views on the browser.

MoboTap asserts that at least 8 million people are using the Dolphin browser after it was launched over a year ago. ZDNet's James Kendrick also recently recommended Dolphin Browser HD as one of the top five Android apps that should be on every smartphone.

The app is available to download from the Android Market now. The "mini" browser version is free because it is ad-supported. All it requires is Android 2.0.1 and higher. If you're willing to shell out $4.99, there is another version without ads and a "browser license."

Additionally, you can get a better visual idea by checking out the promo video below that debuted last week.

This story was originally posted at ZDNet's Between the Lines.