San Francisco-based gaming and ad platform Chartboost has raised $19 million in new funding, in a round led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from existing investors TransLink Capital and SK Telecom Ventures. With the new funding, Sequoia’s Jim Goetz, who previously sat on Admob’s board, is joining Chartboot’s board.
The additional funding will be used to further product development, specifically in the areas of in-app monetization and analytics, but declined to provide details of new features and products at this time.
The company was founded in 2011 by former Tapulous employees, Maria Alegre, now Chartboost CEO, and Sean Fannan, CTO. The service they built was not just another ad network, but a technology platform providing free ad-serving technology. Developers can use the Chartboost SDK in their own apps to promote other apps for cross-promotion purposes.
Chartboost operates as a freemium platform, where cross-promotion is offered for free, both within developers’ own portfolio of apps and games, or with other publishers. Any excess inventory can be sold in the opt-in ad exchange, and it’s here that Chartboost charges, offering a revenue sharing deal. Developers can choose to promote their app in the company’s network in either a cost-per-click or cost-per-install basis.
Today, the company says it has reached over 300 million monthly active devices, powering 6 billion game sessions per month and is in over 12,000 games. That’s up from 4,000 app developers, and 2 billion game session per month in June 2012, to give you an idea of Chartboost’s growth.
Some of its notable publishers include Backflip, Booyah, Capcom, Com2us, Crowdstar, Gameloft, Gamevil, Get Set Games, GREE, Kabam, Kiloo, Natural Motion, Outfit7, Pocket Gems, Supercell, and TinyCo.
At the time of its $2 million in Series A funding from TransLink and SK Telecom in October 2011, the company said it was already profitable.
What’s powerful about what Chartboost is doing – and why it’s seeing such rapid growth – is that it’s approaching the app discovery problem in a different way. Instead of users searching for apps in App Store and curated lists, users are discovering new apps (primarily games) through the integrated ads shown in apps from Chartboost’s publishers. The ability to offer publishers a large network to tap into at a time when user acquisition costs are soaring, is also a critical selling point for Chartboost’s services.
Chartboost, now 36 people, is planning on growing in 2013 thanks to the new infusion of capital, having just moved into a new, larger office space in SOMA, San Francisco that can hold 100+ people. The company says it’s looking for engineers with game development backgrounds, who know and understand the industry.