Careers at App Annie
App Annie's mission is to create the next generation of business intelligence solutions for the global app economy.
Bertrand Schmitt was a China-based mobile marketing executive at Gomez, a web analytics firm. He was friendly with several employees at Exoweb, a software development outsourcing company. The Exoweb team was working on a side project called App Nanny, a program designed to monitor the performance of mobile apps. Schmitt felt that it could give him and other marketers valuable information. However, the staff did not know how to monetize it. In 2010, when Gomez was bought by another firm, Schmitt decided to leave and spin App Nanny out as a separate company.
He renamed the program App Annie, considering it a warmer and more personal moniker. With a team of five employees, he launched it as a free service later that year. The service had two features: Analytics, which allowed app publishers to track their downloads, rankings, revenues, and reviews; and Store Stats, which provided various analyses of app store rankings. Later that year, App Annie raised $1 million in funding. In 2012, it unveiled a premium feature called Intelligence that offered algorithm-based market estimations, assisting businesses with marketing strategies.
The company’s first client was a consulting company that bought its service on behalf of a hedge fund. It soon began to experience success, and grew to 15 employees, requiring it to move to a bigger office. Over time, users requested more advanced features, and it obliged. It also partnered with research firm IDC to begin publishing a quarterly mobile gaming report. More positive rounds of funding followed, including $6 million in August 2012 and $15 million in summer 2013. Later in 2013 App Annie launched its Advertising Analytics option. By February 2015, it had over 45,000 users.
Benefits at App Annie
Business model of App Annie
App Annie has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company targets its offering at mobile app publishers, many of whom are involved in game development.
App Annie offers five primary value propositions: convenience, price, accessibility, risk reduction, and brand/status.
The company’s solution creates convenience. It provides detailed data and analysis reports, saving app publishers the time and effort that would be required to do so.
The company’s solution offers a price value proposition. The App Analytics and Store Stats features are free, enabling any app publisher to obtain information on rankings, reviews, and revenues.
The company’s solution offers accessibility through its premium feature. Customers that utilize the paid option can obtain information for their own app and millions of others, on every topic from user behavioral and demographic characteristics to usage and engagement trends.
The company’s solution reduces risk by offering a number of strong security features. It encrypts all information provided by app publishers (passwords, sales data, etc.) both at rest and in transit. Specifically, it uses the TLS (formerly SSL) encryption protocol, an industry-leading standard. It also hosts all information on its secure servers. Lastly, it reviews those servers for security regularly.
The company has established a strong brand as a result of its success. Overall, it has more than 500,000 members. Its App Analytics platform has more than 80,000 app publishers tracking one million apps representing more than $1 billion in consumer spending. Its Market Data Intelligence feature has over 20,000 users. It bills its Enterprise Intelligence solution as the #1 app market data product, used by 9 out of the top 10 publishers. Prominent clients include Google, LinkedIn, Ubisoft, PayPal, Target, Microsoft, and Samsung Electronics. Lastly, it is global, with staff in 13 countries.
App Annie’s main channels are its website for its free services, and its direct sales team for its premium service. The company promotes its offering through its social media pages.
App Annie’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature. Customers utilize the service through the main platform while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website provides answers to frequently asked questions. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of e-mail support and a community element in the form of a forum where visitors can interact with fellow publishers.
App Annie’s business model entails maintaining its software platform and developing software products for its customers.
App Annie has the following types of partners:
Research Partners – The company works with leading market research vendors with complementary data to produce joint industry reports. Specific partners are IDC, Kantar, and IHS Technology.
Ad Platforms – The company works with top mobile advertising platforms to provide their data through its Advertising Analytics feature for publishers and advertisers. Specific partners include Ad Colony, AdMob by Google, Facebook, Fyber, heyZap, Inmobi, Mobvista, Playhaven, and Revmob.
Additional Partners – The company maintains the following partnerships:
- Startup Support Program – App Annie gives FbStart members access to market data services
- In-App Analytics Platform – App Annie allows app publishers to see usage metrics from Google Analytics within its Analytics dashboard
App Annie’s main resource is its proprietary software platform, which serves more than 500,000 customers. It also depends on its human resources in the form of technology workers to maintain the platform and marketing employees to promote it. Lastly, as a relatively new startup it has relied heavily on funding from outside parties, raising $157 million from six investors as of January 2016.
App Annie has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is likely sales/marketing expenses, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of customer support/operations and product development, also fixed costs.
App Annie has one revenue stream: the subscription fees it charges for access to its premium intelligence service, which includes the following options:
Mid-Market Intelligence – Allows publishers to identify an app’s users and monitor revenue and downloads
Enterprise Intelligence – Allows publishers to obtain accurate estimates of app revenues, downloads, usage, user demographics, penetration, and more
info: Bertrand earned a Master’s in Computer Science from Institut Superieur d'Electronique (ISEP) and an MBA from The Wharton School. He previously served as VP of Mobile at Gomez and VP and Chief Operating Officer of Marketing at Zandan.
info: Mark earned a Bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly State University. He previously served as CFO and Chief Accounting Officer of gaming developer Zynga, where he worked for six years, and held financial leadership roles at Fortinet and Support.com.
info: Ted earned a Bachelor’s degree and an MBA in International Business from the University of Texas. He previously served as CRO of Kenshoo, a marketing software provider, and held senior executive sales roles at PeopleSoft and SAP.
info: Marshall earned an undergraduate degree at UCLA. He previously served as an associate at Shamrock Capital Advisors, a private equity firm, and worked in an M&A-focused role at Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). He heads finance and operations.
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