Getting apps discovered in an increasingly packed app store is a challenge. This is why a number of firms have launched services to help app publishers figure out how to better optimize their app’s search result ranking when users type in various keywords, as well as gain other competitive intelligence. One such firm, San Francisco-based Mobile Action, has now closed on $2 million in funding led by Felicis Ventures to continue to grow its business.
Others participating in the round include Streamlined Ventures, 500 Startups, 500 Mobile Collective, CrunchFund and various angel investors. (Disclosure: TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington also founded CrunchFund.)
According to Mobile Action founder and CEO Aykut Karaalioglu, his business has been doubling every month since December 2014, and is now used by the developers of over 70,000 apps representing over 4 billion downloads and more than $1.5 billion in app store revenues. The service, which also offers a freemium tier, is used by a number of well-known brands, including StubHub, Runtastic, Raise, Frankly, ZipRecruiter, Fitbit, CareerBuilder, Pic Collage, Golf Channel, The New York Times, Slice, Panjo, Glassdoor, SoundHound, Tictoc, Zipcar, Edmunds and Ticket Fire.
While there are today several competitors on the market when it comes to offering ASO (app store optimization) services and other app store market intelligence services, including industry leader App Annie for example, what makes Mobile Action different is its development of the “App Visibility Score.”
This metric — a letter grade ranging from A+ to F — gives an app maker an easy way to determine their app’s overall visibility in the app store using a combination of keyword search score, keyword rankings, reviews, seasonality and category ranking calculation.
Mobile Action then uses this score to offer customers “actionable” recommendations that help them improve their ranking. For example, it may suggest the best time to run a campaign. It can also leverage competitor data and other insights to improve its suggestions.
Pricing for the paid tiers starts at $499 per month, which offers customers the ability to download data for five countries. Enterprise packages with more options are also available. Mobile Action reports it continues to be cash-flow positive.
Today, the firm tracks over 3 million apps across the iTunes App Store and Google Play and uses over 8 billion data points to make its recommendations. But now, says Karaalioglu, a former growth hacker who decided to productize his knowledge in the form of a business (and sold his first client before the company launched), the plan is to expand Mobile Action to include the top 10 Chinese app stores, as well.
That’s a notable expansion for the startup, which currently has offices in San Fransisco, New York and Turkey, and soon, Asia, as the Chinese app stores combined with other Android app markets are now delivering more revenue potential than Apple’s App Store alone. Mobile Action also plans to expand to support the Apple Watch and other Internet of Things devices in the future, too, the founder says.
The additional funding will be used for hiring staff in sales, biz dev and engineering, as well as make product improvements, including the support for insights related to app users’ demographic data (“personas”), the integration of third-party analytics services into the Mobile Action dashboard (like Flurry or Localytics), and more. The company will also be working to expand its partnerships with those who resell its service. The now 22-person startup expects to reach 35-40 people by year-end.