Metaps, a Japanese startup that offers Android developers a platform to monetize their apps, has secured a JPY 1 billion ($11 million) Series B round from Fidelity Growth Partners Japan and other unnamed existing investors. It said it plans to use the funding to grow its business in Asia and expand to other countries, as well as to hire new staff.
Prior to the Series B round Metaps had raised $5.5 million funding to-date, according to Crunchbase. The company offers an SDK for Android developers to integrate into their apps that allows them to incorporate offers within the app aimed at increasing engagement on the Metaps platform. App users are encouraged to complete tasks such as inviting friends to download the app via social media channels or downloading additional apps to earn virtual currency they can spend in the app, thereby increasing their engagement. The platform also helps developers increase app downloads, and boosts ad revenue from free-to-download apps.
Since launching its SDK in August 2011, Metaps said it has been focusing on acquiring developers in Asian markets — mainly Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore — and also in North America. Customers who have used the Metaps SDK include Zynga, Baidu and Happy Elements, according to its website, with games being its strongest app category.
Android has traditionally lagged iOS on a per user basis when it comes to app monetization — but that gap merely adds fuel to Metaps’ business. The difficulty of standing out in a very crowded market (with some 700,000+ Android apps) also plays into its hand.
Apps integrating the Metaps SDK have been downloaded 62 million times as of February 2013, said the company, which claims to be the largest app monetization network in Asia. Metaps said its 60 per cent average monthly growth has been fuelled by the global rise of Android smartphones and the Android OS generally — and also the success of Asian smartphone makers such as Samsung. When combined over one year, its revenue has grown more than 175 times, it added.
As part of its Series B round, Metaps said it will be partnering with Fidelity Growth Partners Japan to tap into “their global investment expertise” as it looks to the next growth phase of its business.