Activating the Future of Apps

200x380-PredictivePressPage-V2It is with great excitement that today we announce a new round of funding for Localytics. Led by new investor Sapphire Ventures, with participation from our existing investors Foundation Capital and Polaris Partners, we have raised $35 million, bringing our total investment to $60 million. We’re proud of the impact we’ve made on mobile apps over the past six years. The key to doing so has been the combination of an amazingly talented and passionate team, and a customer base that includes the most forward-thinking teams in mobile, with whom we iterate closely.

No one doubts that apps are huge, but some still underestimate their impact. Apps are rapidly changing the fundamental ways in which people interact with each other and businesses provide services to consumers. Businesses must be ready for a new app-first world because their customers are demanding it.

But the impact of apps is not limited to mobile; the key concepts of apps have been so successful on mobile that they are quickly being brought to the web, in something we call the “appification of the web.” We started Localytics six years ago because we recognized that businesses were fundamentally unequipped for this app-first world.

Creating the foundation

Before my co-founders and I started the company in early 2009, we were building apps ourselves. However, we quickly realized that the tools and platforms needed to build a successful app didn't exist, so we turned to our backgrounds in analytics and marketing to help us define exactly what was needed. For example, Henry built analytics for Microsoft's desktop apps, giving him a deep appreciation for why web approaches would never work for apps. This led us on a mission for the next three years to build the world's most powerful app analytics platform.

By 2012, we had helped customers like The New York Times, eBay and Rue La La better understand how to drive customer engagement and improve retention. However, our customers were struggling with monetization. They saw that driving key conversion events within their app could increase ROI, but struggled to influence the right customer behaviors. We then set out to build marketing tools on top of our analytics platform, creating the only integrated analytics and marketing solution for apps.

Closing the loop between analytics and app marketing

Our focus over the past three years has been on creating strong app engagement channels that are tightly integrated with our best-in-class analytics platform. Through push and in-app messaging, and now remarketing and email marketing, we help apps deliver personalized and relevant engagement.

This tight integration of marketing and analytics also allows Localytics to measure the impact of every customer interaction on key metrics, such as customer lifetime value. This gives marketers and product managers the ability to instantly adjust their marketing efforts based on ROI. As our customers have scaled, we’ve also armed them with powerful scheduling and campaign management tools that enable true marketing automation.

Creating an omni-channel view

For most companies, apps represent their fastest growing channel with their most valuable users. But mobile cannot be thought of as a silo, and enabling a 360-degree holistic view of the users is paramount. Since the beginning, Localytics has offered rich APIs and raw data access to enable integration with existing customer systems.

Last year, we also launched Profiles, a tool with CRM capabilities that allows companies to collect, manage and share any and all data about their users from inside and outside of the app. This gives our clients an omni-channel view of their customers, enabling more targeted and relevant engagement on all channels.

What’s next: Predictive App Marketing

All of this brings me back to today. We believe that the future of mobile is a truly personalized end user experience, and predictive app marketing is the key to achieving that.

Today, app personalization comes primarily through the delivery of customized push and in-app messages, as those channels are readily available and have been shown to have a material impact on key business metrics. The next step is to move beyond messaging to changing app content and UI.

Predicting a user’s next move really brings personalization to life. We can now take the robust user and behavioral insights we collect for customers and use data science and machine learning to identify correlations and therefore a customer’s intent (e.g. churn-risk or ripe-for-upsell). Our integrated engagement tools allow companies to not only know a customer’s intent, but also enable them to proactively engage with their customers at the right time, with the right content, to personalize the experience. By integrating predictions with engagement, each interaction makes the next prediction more accurate - and more personalized.

At Localytics, we know that app marketers are not far from this world - a world where the app evolves based on who a user is and what’s most likely to appeal to them. There’s a lot more I could say about predictive app marketing, but Localytics' CMO Josh breaks it down here.

What I will say is that predictive app marketing is the next wave of digital marketing, and we’re excited to partner with great investors who back this vision.

Learn more about Localytics' Series D funding.