As mobile gaming has exploded, it follows that startups helping to feed and in turn feed off the mobile gaming ecosystem are poised for growth. One such company is AppLift, the mobile games marketing platform co-founded and backed by games distribution incubator HitFox, which today is announcing that it’s closed a $13 million Series A round from Prime Ventures.
It plans to use the new funding to invest in its platform and “accelerate” international growth. This will include AppLift staffing up in engineering, other product specialists and business development, adding a further 50 to its head-count by the end of the year. Positions will be filled in its Berlin headquarters and existing offices in San Francisco, Seoul, and Paris — with funds also pegged for further geographical expansion. “We will both hire more people in our existing offices and open new offices, especially in Asia,” HitFox co-founder and CEO Jan Beckers tells TechCrunch.
AppLift’s marketing and monetization platform helps games publishers acquire more users for its games, and in turn generates revenue for affiliates who want to monetize their mobile sites and apps by sending qualified leads AppLift’s way. Its 500+ media partners include the likes of RTL and Closer, while the company is currently partnering with over 80 mobile game publishers, such as King, Wooga and Kabam, who are seeing as much as 1 million “high-quality” installs per month as a result.
In addition, AppLift`s platform is able to track, measure and benchmark the quality of players delivered with regards to retention, virality and, perhaps most importantly, monetization, such as in-app purchases. “Game publishers are able to adjust their spendings for different traffic sources based on the quality of the users they get,” explains Beckers.
Founded in 2012 by HitFox Group, Kaya Taner and Tim Koschella, AppLift attributes some of its speedy growth to synergies with other companies in HitFox’s portfolio, specifically its acquisition of ad2games, a company it notes was already active in “the space of user acquisition”.
Finally, I’m told that from start to finish, the investment from Prime Ventures was closed in under 5 weeks, which is pretty fast for a round of this size. Perhaps as a result, when I spoke to Beckers last week, he was sounding even more bullish than usual. He’d just returned to Berlin from a trip to Singapore — mainly for business, but with a few days vacation — and told me that HitFox and AppLift co-Founder Tim Koschella is now permanently based in Asia, first to grow its Korean office and then to open new offices elsewhere in the region. China, Japan and Singapore are cited as likely candidates to be next.
Meanwhile, Beckers says that two months ago HitFox co-founder Hanno Fichtner, along with his family, moved to the U.S. to strengthen the incubator’s presence across the pond, including hiring more staff stateside.
Chalk this up as another European startup thinking truly global, one long haul flight at a time.