Fiksu Raises $10M From Qualcomm Ventures, Charles River To Help Mobile App Makers Get Users

Fiksu, a Boston-based company that helps mobile developers efficiently find new users, just picked up $10 million in a new round led by Qualcomm Ventures. Previous investors including Charles River Ventures also participated.

“Qualcomm is wonderfully strategic for us in the mobile space,” said Craig Palli, who is the company’s vice president of business development. “They’re so well tied to a variety of mobile handset manufacturers and that’s the one area where Fiksu can really benefit from new relationships.”

The funding is going to go toward international expansion with more offices in the U.K. and Asia. The company currently has more than 100 people and plans to double its headcount in the next year.

“It’s also going to allow us to scale our infrastructure on the real-time bidding side,” Palli said. As both the iOS and Android app stores have filled up with north of 1 million apps, it’s becoming harder for developers to bring in new users. They fight over limited and increasingly expensive visibility at the top of the charts.

Fiksu runs a service that lets developers find the cheapest way to get new users across dozens of different channels from display advertising networks to install networks. It has up to 225 billion iOS and Android ad impressions in its network per month through 40 different ad networks and real-time bidding exchanges.

But the last few months have been especially tough for app marketers as Apple has pulled away from supporting the predominant ID system that most advertisers use to target users. That’s caused app makers to be a little more hesitant on their marketing spend, Fiksu reported last week. Fiksu said the cost to acquire a “loyal user”, or one that opens an app three times, fell to $1.26 in May, from $1.46 the previous month. This is a temporary problem though as a new ID system is coming into place with iOS 6 in the fall.

“There’s a lot of confusion but if you look at our most recent index numbers, there is still a lot of great opportunity,” Palli said.