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Mavin says it can improve app engagement by making marketers more timely

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As mobile developers and publishers wrestle with how to keep users engaged with their apps, Mavin co-founder and CEO Shailesh Nalawadi said it’s time for new strategies.

The startup started by building engagement products for mobile apps in India, but today it’s announcing its U.S. launch — as well as a $3 million seed Series A round from Mousse Partners and Montane Ventures.

Yes, there are other platforms that can help app makers send push notifications, emails and SMS messages to their users, but Nalawadi said that most app engagement campaigns have “a very long cycle,” where messages are planned out well in advance.

The company’s Mavin Motion platform, on the other hand, is designed to support “very topical” messaging. Nalawadi (who was previously a product manager at Google) told me that just as a social media marketer at a company like Oreo can capture eyeballs and headlines by jumping on breaking news, mobile marketers bring users back to their apps by staying topical.

Mavin says its products include a dashboard where marketers can create push campaigns using a drag-and-drop interface, as well as 100 different options for engagement incentives (like vouchers and cash rebates).

“You’re seeing social media marketing techniques are very effective [on mobile] — marketers responding on-the-fly to events that are going on,” Nalawadi said.

For example, he told me research firm Nielsen has used Mavin to recruit users for its studies “on very short notice,” while Indian music startup Saavn offers users incentives and keeps them up-to-date with things like movie and album releases.

Update: An earlier version of this post incorrectly referred to the company as Mavin Motion. Mavin is the name of the company; Motion Motion is the name of the platform.

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