You may not have heard of startup AppDirect yet, but the company is hoping that a $3.25 round of seed funding will help propel its marketplace-as-a-service (MaaS, of course) into the spotlight. The pitch: enterprises want cloud applications, but have a hard time finding what they need and can't manage their SaaS once they have it. So AppDirect's MaaS platform lets service providers set up a brandable marketplace that enables customers to subscribe to applications, provision access and receive one bill for apps.

According to the press release, it's simple: If the developer makes use of the proper API, the application can be listed in any of the white-labeled, AppDirect-powered marketplaces that the company is hoping will pop up around its platform. Canadian telecom Bell has already begun using it for its Bell Business Apps Store, which aims to connect its SMB customers  with the cloud services they need.

For enterprises, AppDirect says the benefits are in the app recommendation engine, which intelligently guides shoppers towards what they need, and in the billing module, which consolidates all users' subscriptions into one monthly bill. And from the AppDirect platform, customers can provision users themselves. AppDirect says it's the "fastest and most economical way" for cloud channel pros to connect existing users with new services.

As for that $3.25 million - it comes courtesy of an investment by iNovia Capital, and AppDirect says it plans on using it to grow its engineering teams and expand its "Application Network" internationally.

It's an intriguing idea, if not a new one - Open-Xchange demonstrated something similar in the fall of 2010 and seemed prescient when it did. But now, the SaaS app store field seems positively cluttered.

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