Appboy, which focuses on marketing automation for apps, has announced it has raised $15 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. The round was led by InterWest Partners, and saw participation from existing investors Icon Venture Partners, Blumberg Capital, T5 Capital and IDG Ventures. The company will use this funding for sales and marketing, and for the overall expansion of its platform, which looks to solve the issue of app abandonment on mobile. InterWest General Partner, Doug Pepper, will join Appboy’s board of directors.
Mobile relationship management company Urban Airship has announced its partnership with Gimbal, a location and proximity mobile engagement company, to introduce a new push notification functionality to marketers. This partnership will allow marketers to send personalized push notifications to shoppers’ phones, while taking into account a variety of information, including a shopper’s location in a physical retail store.
User acquisition and marketing company Fiksu has released its indexes for the month of August 2014, which seemed to reflect a “wait and see” dynamic for app installs across both iOS and Android devices. In addition, Fiksu found the anticipation for the launch of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iOS 8 lowered app marketing costs, alongside the expected summer holiday slowdowns. This resulted in a Cost Per Loyal User of $1.86 on iOS, down six percent month-over-month, and two percent year-over-year.
San Francisco-based Fuel (formerly Grantoo) has announced it has raised $3.5 million in funding to expand its platform for “connected experiences” in mobile games on iOS and Android devices. This funding comes from Middle East Venture Partners and Rising Tide Fund, and will be used to support Fuel’s quest to engage two billion mobile gamers through competitive and overall social mobile gaming experiences.
App monetization company Vungle has announced the launch of its new hybrid serving technology for the Vungle Exchange, which focuses on in-app video ads. The new tech makes ad selection and ad serving a “smarter and faster” process, in the hopes of increasing revenue for publishers and increasing ROI for advertisers. This new technology within the Vungle Exchange utilizes the best streamed and pre-cached video ads, so users receive the best ads depending on their current circumstances, including Internet connection.
Music gaming company Harmonix has announced its partnership with Tilting Point to develop and market music-based mobile games. The partnership will see Harmonix developing multiple titles, with the first already in development. Tilting Point, meanwhile, will offer support and input throughout the development and publishing process. This includes support for product management, monetization, data analysis, marketing, user acquisition, PR, customer support and more.
NativeX, an advertising technology company specializing in mobile games, has announced the launch of Lightning Play Video, its new video ad format that combines modern video ad technology with the company’s existing selection of native advertising formats, which includes discovery walls, interstitials and other “rich media” formats. Using Lightning Play Video, developers can integrate video ads into their applications seamlessly, without additional development work or interrupting the end user experience. As “native” ads, they’re designed to look and feel like they belong within the application they’re serving.
Mobile app analytics and attribution company Adjust (formerly Adeven) has announced it has raised $7.6 million in Series C funding from ACTIVE Venture Partners, along with existing investors including Target Partners, Iris Capital and Capnamic Ventures. The funding will help the company increase its expansion plans for the US, China and Japan, with a continued focus on helping app developers re-engage with their users.
Everywhere we turn there’s a new article on how “mobile is eating the world.” While some are just now jumping on the mobile bandwagon, others have focused on mobile for years. Experienced developers know that the key to making a business out of a mobile app is to plan for monetization from the beginning, consider multiple monetization strategies and constantly iterate.
As people spend more and more time on their smartphones, one clear path to monetization is the increased revenue opportunity that mobile ads present. It seems pretty simple: leverage compelling ads to make more money. But as the landscape evolves and more apps hit the market, it’s important to stay focused on user experience — even with the ads. Top developers do an excellent job of focusing on both user experience and monetization. We took a look at top developers and found four core themes they all employ to optimize ads for higher monetization:
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