App search startup Quixey is bringing in some senior management help to grow its business. The company has hired former Zynga executive Guru Gowrappan as its new executive vice president of products.
Gowrappan held several roles at Zynga during his time there. Nicknamed “The Fixer,” he led M&A integration during purchases that included Newtoy, which brought Words With Friends to Zynga, as well as last spring’s acquisition of OMGPOP.
Gowrappan was also instrumental in Zynga’s Japan operations, where he held the title of COO for that international division and helped launch three new games in the market. He also worked with the CEO and CFO during Zynga’s IPO process in 2011.
Prior to Zynga, Gowrappan had worked on several monetization and global initiatives at Yahoo. He joined the web giant as part of its acquisition of Overture and worked on more than 500 projects and launches through Yahoo Media, Listings, and various regional products. At Yahoo he held various roles in operations, M&A, strategy and product execution.
With all that experience at firms like Zynga and Yahoo, what attracted him to becoming a part of Quixey?
Gowrappan compared today’s app search world to where web search was before Google took over. That is, most app search and discovery is done through directory structures by navigating through various categories on Google Play and the Apple App Store to find what you want. This is akin to the directory structure of the web that Yahoo and others envisioned before Google made full web search better. According to Gowrappan, Quixey wants to be the Google of app search, as that becomes ever more important.
Quixey CEO Tomer Kagan says the company is nearing 100 million queries a month. It also has a number of partners that are providing valuable data points to improve its algorithm. Those include Ask.com, Singapore-based carrier Starhub, Chinese mobile browsers Maxthon and Boat Browser, Applorer, and the Skyfire Horizon browser toolbar that is preloaded on AT&T phones. The result is that Quixey has a lot more data to go on, according to Gowrappan.
With him on board, look for Quixey to boost monetization over the next few months. We’ll keep you posted on new developments.