By Eric Liaw, General Partner
Today, IVP announced that we are leading a $55 million investment in App Annie, the leader in intelligence and analytics for the global mobile ecosystem. IVP has been a happy customer for many years and with great pride, we are thrilled to partner with App Annie, Bertrand, Marshall and the team in this next chapter of the company’s growth.
Why would App Annie take on this round of funding, and why would IVP want to lead it? Well there are a few reasons:
- The mobile ecosystem is already massive and is still growing rapidly
The global installed base of smartphones approached 2 billion users (or roughly 1/4th of the world’s population) in 2014. Even at this level, this represents 25% annual growth. According to some estimates, 15 countries have already exceeded 60% smartphone penetration (and the US, at 57%, isn’t one of them). Smartphone users are increasingly attached to their devices… raise your hand if you have been asked to put your phone away, i.e. in a conversation, at a dinner or meeting (if your hand isn’t raised, you’re fibbing). All of this connectivity has significant economic implications, as an example, Apple just announced that developers on their platform generated over $10 billion in revenue in 2014.
- Yet, without App Annie, it is very difficult for members of the mobile ecosystem to have a comprehensive picture of what is going on
Yes, Apple’s developer revenue statistic is impressive, but Apple is only a single (albeit very important) platform in the mobile ecosystem. What about the developers on Google Play? How do you track the activity within apps that don’t necessarily monetize via in-app purchases (i.e. Twitter, Snapchat, Uber, OpenTable, Pandora, Yelp, Hipmunk)? The answer to those questions is that without App Annie, it’s very difficult to have a holistic picture of the mobile ecosystem. While a given mobile platform may have insightful data in its own world, no platform is interested in helping another one succeed. App Annie started out providing market data and analytics regarding downloads and revenue but with today’s funding and product announcement, the company is expanding its leadership into usage and demographics as well, a very valuable set of information that otherwise isn’t available.
- And, App Annie is led by a committed, global, management team with a demonstrated ability to execute
Many companies may be pursuing large markets, but the ones that become truly exceptional are led by dedicated, effective management teams that know how to meet and exceed their customers’ expectations. App Annie, led by CEO Bertrand Schmitt, certainly falls into that category. In the past year, App Annie has capitalized on its market opportunity by more than tripling revenue while integrating an acquisition, building its community to over 350,000 mobile leaders and expanding its global footprint to nearly 300 employees. App Annie’s 10 offices span the globe, making it possible for them to meet the needs of their many customers, regardless of where they are located. The company works tirelessly to improve the accuracy and usability of all of their products, and the result is a company that shows a positive revenue retention rate and has the distinction of being cited by numerous public companies on their own earnings calls.
- So, what’s next for App Annie?
In the time we’ve gotten to know her, we’ve learned the App Annie is very happy to shed light on the otherwise cloudy mobile ecosystem, but she’s actually quite shy when it comes to discussing her own intentions. What we do know is that the App Annie team is committed to building the most useful and informative products possible for their customers and as a result, we here at IVP have a feeling that the little smile you see on her face will grow into a proud grin. So to the App Annie team members around the world, welcome to the IVP portfolio and we are looking forward to being your partners for many years to come!
To hear more directly from App Annie, read a blog post from Bertrand on where the company is headed in 2015.