Leanplum, an A/B testing service for iOS and Android apps, today announced that it has raised a $4.8 million Series A round from Shasta Ventures. Previously, the company had raised an $825,000 angel round from TechStars, Kima Ventures, VoiVoda Ventures and a number of undisclosed angel investors.
While Leanplum started out as a standard A/B testing solution, the company is now expanding beyond these core features. It advertises itself as “the only fully integrated optimization solution for mobile apps” and with today’s update, it comes closer this.
Besides the funding, the company also today announced the launch of its marketing automation service. This service allows mobile marketers to create automated personalized messages for their users. The service is integrated with the rest of the company’s services. Marketers can target users on specific devices and geographical reasons, but they can also drill down a bit deeper and target users based on their behavior in an app, for example.
“Our new Marketing Automation feature enables marketers to create a personalized experience with highly relevant and timely in-app messages and push notifications tied back to Analytics,” Leanplum CEO Momchil Kyurkchiev told me last week. “From mobile gaming to mCommerce and travel, our success across these verticals has validated our vision of building an optimization solution that solves this large pain point for mobile teams across the entire mobile app ecosystem.”
Notifications can be sent on specific dates, or when they trigger pre-set event in an app. When somebody abandons a shopping cart, for example, you can send them a discount coupon a few minutes later. Leanplum can do this because it is so deeply integrated in the mobile applications that already use its A/B testing service to test anything from new splash pages to how changing the gravity in a physics-based puzzler changes user behavior. The marketing notification can, of course, also be A/B tested, so you can see how a 15 percent coupon performs compared to a 10 percent one.
Kyurkchiev tells me that the company will use the additional funds from this new round to expand its headcount in areas like engineering and marketing, but also to improve its customer service. “We know mobile app optimization is still in its infancy, with a few second generation companies out there on the market now,” he told me. “But customers still want to know that we’ll be there at the drop of a hat to answer any questions and concerns they have.”