Архив метки: Translink Capital

Fast-Growing App Search Engine Quixey Raises $20 Million Series B


App search company Quixey is today announcing it has closed a $20 million round Series B funding. The round includes previous investors WI Harper Group, U.S. Venture Partners and Innovation Endeavors as well as new investors Atlantic Bridge, SK planet and Translink Capital, which the company says it chose with internationalization in mind.

The additional capital will be primarily used to help continue fund Quixey’s growth, and specifically to help it deal with its increasing overhead. The company has been hiring like crazy, going from 6 to 30 people over the past year, and it plans to pass 60 employees by year-end with new hires arriving on Quixey’s data, technical and research teams soon.

The company, whose main focus is on improving app discoverability through search, may not be as well-known as the app search service Chomp, which Apple acquired in February. However, that’s by design. Instead of focusing on a consumer-facing service, Quixey primarily works with partners to power the backend of their own app search products. These partners include OEMs, mobile carriers, web platforms, browsers, and search engines. However, due to partner agreements, Quixey can’t disclose the companies using its service today.

But to give you an idea of where you would find its offerings – it could be in an carrier’s app store, an app search feature built into a browser, or a search feature built into a mobile phone platform, to name a few. The company is even working in the newly app-enabled auto industry to make app discovery work better in cars where driver distraction needs to be kept to a minimum.

According to CEO Tomer Kagan, Quixey will have “a lot more” announcements to come over the next six months, but has to wait for the green light from partners before revealing what those may be.

One thing I was curious about was how the Chomp acquisition may have affected Quixey’s business, and therefore, perhaps, this new round of funding. But according to Kagan, the impact in terms of deals lost or gained due to Chomp was virtually non-existent. “I only know of one deal Chomp ever had, which was Verizon, and it never went live,” Kagan says. “We never in the past lost a deal to them when they were out there…Chomp was more of a mixed user-play and integration, but we built all of our tools and services so that they’re easy to integrate,” he adds.

One thing Kagan did credit Chomp with was drumming up interest in the app discovery market. “I will say that what Chomp did that was really great is bring more light on the need for discovery. And Apple’s acquisition of Chomp really highlighted the fact that app search and app discovery in any form is necessary,” he says.

That need is more apparent than ever, as the web moves further away from the static websites of years past to services which exist on many platforms, both as websites and native experiences. “We believe in something we call the functional web,” says Kagan, “which is the functional web of software. When you look at something like Yelp, for example, is Yelp a website or app? It doesn’t matter if you’re accessing Yelp on the web or a phone, you’re accessing a piece of software on a server somewhere,” he explains. “The connection between your need and [apps’] ability to do what you want them to do, we call this the ‘functional web.’”

To address the challenge of crawling the world of apps, Quixey employs different techniques than a traditional search engine. App search companies today often replicate the traditional search model when it comes to indexing apps – that is, they examine an app’s title, metadata and description (things all input by a developer) in order to figure out what an app is and what it does. Quixey, however, looks at the world around an app – meaning any time someone talks about an app, writes about an app, reviews an app, etc. Quixey can predict how people think of the app, how they use the app, what functionality the app provides and more.

“We built our search from ground up,” says Kagan, “new data collection, new ways we structure our data, and then we had to build new algorithms on top of that.”

As noted above, internationalization was key factor in choosing investors, as were their ties to partners. On that front, Quixey will be rolling out its app search engine in a dozen more languages in the near future.

Fast-Growing App Search Engine Quixey Raises $20 Million Series B

Chartboost Expands Its Direct Deals Marketplace To Android


Chartboost, the newly launched (already profitable) direct deals marketplace for mobile game developers is today announcing its expansion to Android. The company provides free ad-serving technology for direct deals and cross-promotions via its Chartboost SDK, allowing publishers to retain 100% of the revenue share on their direct deals. Meanwhile, the company’s opt-in ad network offers revenue sharing with publishers to help fill unsold inventory.

The expansion to Android was based on strong demand from Chartboost’s current game publisher clients, a list that includes big names like Tinyco, Pocket Gems, Storm8, Funzio, Dinsey Mobile, Gameview, Crowdstar and Animoca. Chartboost is also now adding a few more top brands to its customer base, including Booyah, Funzio and Out Fit 7.

According to CEO Maria Alegre, there are now 200 publishers using the service with around 400 or so apps.

In Chartboost, the focus is not on banner advertising, but on customizable, white-labeled full-screen interstitials that are used to suggest new games to the app’s users. The ads perform better than banners because they’re not necessarily perceived as ads, but as game recommendations. The CTR’s for these interstitials are, on average, around 12%, says Alegre, and she expects that to remain the same as Chartboost heads to Android. However, she notes that iOS ads can often see CTR’s in the range of 15%-16%.

Chartboost closed $2 million in Series A funding in October, with Translink Capital, SKTVC and XG Ventures. The company’s focus going into 2012 is on international expansion, especially Asia.

Chartboost for Android was previously available in a closed beta only, but is now available for any developer to use. Sign up is here.

Chartboost Expands Its Direct Deals Marketplace To Android