Архив метки: Quattro Wireless

Gamification Startup SessionM Raises $20M Led by Charles River Ventures

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SessionM, a startup led by Quattro Wireless co-founder Lars ALbright, just announced that it has raised $20 million in a Series B round of funding.

The round was led by Charles River Ventures, with participation from past investors Highland Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. CRV partner Jon Auerbach is joining the SessionM board. The company declined to comment on the valuation, but apparently VentureWire is reporting that the round values SessionM at $100 million.

Quattro, of course, was acquired by Apple and became the basis of the company’s iAd program. Albright led business development on iAd until he left to start SessionM, initially raising a $6.5 million round from Kleiner’s iFund and Highland.

When SessionM launched in March, Albright told me his goal was to improve engagement and retention in mobile apps, by adding a lightweight game layer. As users perform different activities in an app, they can unlock different achievements and earn rewards through the company’s mPoints program. The technology also provides a new advertising opportunity for brands.

In the funding press release Albright says that SessionM is increasing app usage by nearly 2x and seeing ad clickthrough rates that are 20x the industry average.


Gamification Startup SessionM Raises $20M Led by Charles River Ventures

Quattro Co-Founder Launches SessionM To Gamify Mobile Apps

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Lars Albright, co-founder of Quattro Wireless, announced his new company SessionM nearly a year ago. Now he’s ready to talk about what it actually does.

Quattro, of course, was acquired by Apple, which used the mobile ad network as the foundation for its iAd program. Albright, who led business development for iAd and is now SessionM’s CEO, describes the startup as an attempt to tackle one of the biggest problems he saw in the mobile industry — engagement and retention. He says that mobile consumers now have “so many choices, so many different options to choose from,” that can be hard for any one app to hold their attention. SessionM’s solution? Game mechanics and rewards.

Specifically, SessionM customers can create different achievements, which are then unlocked by users as they visit an app and perform specific activities. Those achievements confer status within an app’s community, but they’re also worth mPoints, which can be redeemed for gift cards, discounts and other rewards. Initial publisher partners include Viacom Media Digital Networks, The Weather Channel, Demand Media, Fox Sports, and Glam Media.

SessionM works as an HTML5 layer on top of an app, so publishers don’t need to change their designs. Albright says the goal was to make it “lightweight” and customizable for publishers. The publishers decide what kind of activity they want to reward, and they can even integrate it with other mobile platforms like gaming social network OpenFeint.

Albright says he also wants to create a compelling environment for advertisers, offering them units like video ads and branded mini-games. Honda, Tyson Foods, and Volvo have all signed on as advertisers.

That sounds good for publishers and advertisers, but mobile consumers might be less thrilled to find that an extra layer of interaction and ads has been introduced to their favorite apps. Albright says that the initial response has been positive, with high engagement rates. If you don’t like it, you can opt-out, and there are even automatic opt-out capabilities for users who don’t engage with the SessionM features after a certain number of times.

SessionM is backed by Highland Capital Partners (which also invested in Quattro) and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (where it’s part of the iFund).


Quattro Co-Founder Launches SessionM To Gamify Mobile Apps