CEO Oren Kaniel tells Geektime online marketing still needs a better way to measure return on investment, and claims his company can give it to them
In the biggest analytics round so far this year, San Fran-based AppsFlyer announced Tuesday it had tripled its investments with a $56 million Series C funding round led by Qumra Capital, Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing (PCI), Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP) and Pitango Growth.
AppsFlyer’s products let users attribute every app install to a given marketing campaign as well as integrate ad networks, push notifications, retargeting efforts, and analytics. They face stiff competition from business intelligence platform Adjust, Tune, Branch, and an up-and-coming Idaho startup in analytics company Kochava.
“Our mission is to focus on our clients and provide the marketing measurement platform they need to become successful in a hyper-competitive space,” AppsFlyer Co-Founder and CEO Oren Kaniel remarked in a press release. “In the past two years we delivered some game-changing products that fundamentally make marketing more accessible, measurable and predictable. This funding round will continue to fuel our product development and advance our strategy to build the ultimate measurement platform for marketers.”
They announced a $20 million Series B investment two years ago this week. Kaniel said at the time that the industry was a “Wild West,” alluding to competitors who were taking advantage of app-producing customers by pushing ads outside of desired target markets which resulted in many clicks but few installs. He also warned the industry was tricky as some marketing companies might use click farms and download farms to inflate marketing success rates without any actual return on investment.
“It’s still that way. I think the industry is still in its infancy in a way, that the whole marketing industry is still moving from counting eyeballs to delivering value to their clients,” Kaniel told Geektime Tuesday.
“Imagine you’re an advertiser and you’re discussing how much it will cost to basically annoy people? That’s the CPC model. But actually measuring that value is something different.” He adds that strategy meetings shouldn’t involve an ad network telling a client how much it will need to spend to achieve a certain result, but saying, “Okay, let’s see what we can do for you in terms of real purchases.”
Goldman Sachs’ Christian Resch remarked the industry was moving in the direction of “ROI-based campaigns,” somewhat of an odd statement if you are coming from outside the SEO, CPC, and online advertising worlds. But his statement is a reflection of a period of immeasurability that clouded online marketing for years. Kaniel asserts advertisers and their clients still aren’t looking at the right metrics or targeting the right crowd, that is if they are looking at metrics at all.
“Many companies still aren’t measuring the right things. On average I believe [with] 90 percent of the marketing budget you’re throwing money out the window without knowing. The problem is you don’t know which 10 percent will be the right 10 percent.”
The company employs 240 people across 12 offices around the planet, a six-fold workforce increase versus two years ago. They claim A-lister clients like Pinterest, Adobe, IBM, Waze, Twitter, Alibaba, Yahoo! (at least until Yahoo! went all Altaba on us), Practo, and Tencent. They are also quick to boast about their business partnerships with game developers like Activision, Atari, Playtika, and even Sega.
Existing investors Eight Roads Ventures and Magma Ventures Partners also double-dipped their chips in the new round.