Fiksu, a mobile app user acquisition platform, announced Tuesday that it raised $10 million in a Series B round of funding. This second round of funding comes from Qualcomm and Charles River Ventures.
The Boston-based company has plans to use the funds to expand to meet the surge in global customer demand and wants to increase its footprint in both Europe and Asia-Pacific.
With just about everyone coming out with an app, the barrier of entry is extremely low but the challenge is to get users to know about the apps and download them. Fiksu for Mobile Apps is focused on lowering the cost of getting new users on both iOS and Android so that companies are better able to grow their services. As it stands, apps have a really tough time adopting the first wave of users if they don't already have a loyal user base in other areas of its business -- but once an app gains adoption momentum, the increase is exponential.
Fiksu helps improve the cost per user investment through a Web-based portal where users can get paid apps for free if they try out apps from others, thus increasing the number of apps downloaded across the board and letting more people experience possible apps that can improve their lives.
Fiksu's mobile media optimization platform also has extended lately to include other significant channels, including real-time bidding exchanges, traditional mobile ad networks, the mobile Web, social networks, video, email and SMS. Architected for predictability and scalability, Fiksu's real-time bidding algorithms and optimization engine deliver the industry's highest performing and largest reach campaigns.
"Fiksu is hyper-focused on using our outstanding and innovative technology to deliver the best app marketing solution for advertisers," said Micah Adler, Founder and CEO of Fiksu, said in a statement. "Our accomplishments to date demonstrate our technological leadership. It is a true honor to be backed by investors who are deeply respected within the mobile ecosystem and bring such a distinguished track record of innovation excellence."
Fiksu's algorithms run billions of advertising permutations based on the three groupings above to identify the best advertising decisions based on historical performance, the client's budget and volume goals, and the client's monetization strategy. Fiksu then optimizes campaigns in real time to deliver economic efficiencies, maximum download volume and loyal, long-term users.
Fiksu currently records more than 1 billion user acquisition app events per day -- this could include launches, registrations and in-app purchases, as well as real time bidding requests.
Thus far Fiksu has raised $17.8 million in venture funding and has instigated 30 billion actions in mobile apps each month.
With more than 100 employees currently, Fiksu has plans to double its staff this year as it expands its service globally.
With millions of apps out there, all developers are clamoring to get into the top 10, 25 or even 50 apps within their category so that people can easily search, learn about and then download their product, but getting that high up is a huge challenge with a lot of mystery and controversy all bundled together.
While many people want (and even assume) that apps move organically to the top of an App Store list, there are a lot of techie ways to get your app high up without real resonance with a fan-base. From automated bots and hiring people to download to incentivizing people to download something they may not want to get something else for free, apps are gaining mobility in a variety of ways -- and not everyone is happy about it.
Just this February, Apple cracked down on a number of dubious marketing firms that use software bots and swarms of human users to download apps in order to push the titles to high-profile positioning.
Now, in any particular month, Apple removed 5,000 apps for a variety of inappropriate tactics used in the downloading process.
Apple even put out a statement in February about how it feels when apps are pushed up the ladder without the organic motion: “Once you build a great app, you want everyone to know about it. However, when you promote your app, you should avoid using services that advertise or guarantee top placement in App Store charts. Even if you are not personally engaged in manipulating App Store chart rankings or user reviews, employing services that do so on your behalf may result in the loss of your Apple Developer Program membership.”
Fiksu is in a different but not completely opposite field of incentivizing the download of, otherwise, unknown apps and people are split on whether these tactics lead to genuine use and discovery or are just another inorganic propulsion that create new top charts' make-ups.