Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

App Annie Raises $15M for Mobile App Market Data

Mobile market data company App Annie has raised $15 million in Series C funding led by Sequoia Capital so it can hire and build new analysis tools, it said today.

AppAnnieThe company, which is based in Beijing but in the last year has developed a presence in San Francisco, keeps running totals of the apps that are most downloaded and generate the most revenue on Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Amazon, Mac and Windows Store.

Venture capitalists all know about App Annie, because it’s one of the better signals from which apps are taking off. The company had previously raised $6 million about a year ago, with Greycroft Partners investor Dana Settle telling me at the time, “We were a free customer. Now we’ve overpaid.”

“At some level, we have used App Annie to inform ourselves about every new mobile investment we’ve made over the past several years,” said Sequoia partner Tim Lee in an email interview this week. “We also use App Annie to monitor our mobile companies and their competitors on an ongoing basis.”

Along with Lee, analytics vet Alan Gould is joining the board. Gould founded television-engagement-measurement firm IAG Research, which was bought by Nielsen, and is now CEO of uSamp and a venture partner at Greycroft — which participated in the round along with IDG Capital Partners, e.Ventures and Infinity Venture Partners.

While App Annie measures downloads, it doesn’t have a great sense of which apps keep users engaged after the first day — unless they offer in-app purchases, where it counts revenue across various countries and categories. Sequoia has another portfolio company that measures mobile-app engagement, Onavo, which makes estimates with a sample of users who send their data through its app. Together, App Annie and Onavo are probably the two most-cited mobile-app-analytics companies, and they both offer paid analytics for app developers.

There does seem to be some risk that one or more of the big app platforms will try to do a better job of providing download data to developers. However, Lee noted that App Annie has already set up businesses on multiple platforms, and most serious developers build for more than one, so they need cross-platform data.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work