A new startup promises to help mobile developers spend their ad dollars more effectively, and it has raised $3.5 million in funding.
Zenmarketing.io was founded by Sizhao Yang and Abhi Kumar, both former Zynga employees — Yang joined Zynga through the acquisition of MyMiniLife, which provided the foundation for the company’s hit Farmville franchise. (His MyMiniLife co-founders also started their own mobile marketing company, which was acquired by Google earlier this year.)
The goal, Yang said, is to “apply some of the big data techniques that Zynga had to other verticals and industries.” More specifically, he said that as mobile app developers try to attract more users, they end up buying ads on tens or hundreds of different channels. That, in turn, creates big challenges for managing the resulting data.
For example, Yang said that if you run a campaign on Facebook, Facebook will tell you how much money you spent. Then you’d need to use an attribution system like Adjust or Tune to see which campaigns delivered which device IDs. Then you’d use an analytics product like Mixpanel to determine how much revenue and engagement you’re getting from those users.
Yang acknowledged that some advertisers are managing this data on their own, but he said it’s usually through enormous spreadsheets. Zenmarketing .io, on the other hand, offers “a data integration platform that ties all of these systems together.”
So after advertisers provide their login information, Zenmarketing.io can pull in their data and present advertisers with a dashboard connecting the dots between ad spending, app installs and activity after the install. That, in turn, allows them to see the return on investment for different marketing channels, user cohorts and ad creatives, and to adjust their ad spending accordingly.
Yang emphasized Zenmarketing.io’s focus on data validation and repair, so advertisers can actually trust that the numbers are accurate and up-to-date. He also argued that his company is part of a new generation of “big data” services.
“What you basically realize in this next generation is that it’s all about interconnected applications and applications that integrate all these systems,” he said.
Companies already using Zenmarketing.io include Lyft, Zynga and HotelTonight. Investors include First Round Capital, Resolute, Vayner RSE, Lowercase Capital and SV Angel.