Fiksu Looks to Help Brands Like Gilt, Barnes & Noble, Groupon Spend Less to Get More Mobile App Customers

5/2/11Follow @xconomy

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looking for downloads, we’re looking for people who are going to stick around and use the app.”

Fiksu’s service taps into more than 20 different sources of mobile advertising traffic, engages in real-time bidding, and offers incentivized downloads to consumers. The volume at which Fiksu bids enables it to pay more cheaply per consumer, Adler says. The Fiksu engine also has algorithms for most effectively spreading bidding across the different ad networks in real-time, to help mobile app publishers find the most loyal and relevant users at a given time. It also provides data on how mobile marketers are progressing against their goals, Adler says.

Adler, a former UMass computer science professor who previously founded two companies focused on efficient search engine marketing, says Fiksu is the first to combine these techniques for the mobile sphere. Companies previously had to bid for potential users on a very piecemeal basis, he says. “The only avenue for doing this was to work with the individual sources,” says Adler. “It’s a very complex ecosystem.”

Fiksu started working with some beta customers last summer, and has since served some big-name brands like Gilt Groupe, Barnes & Noble, VH1, Groupon, Ask.com, and Hearst Magazines. Adler says Fiksu now works with dozens of companies as clients, and charges on a case-by-case basis, depending on a company’s marketing budget. Fiksu, which has grown to roughly 40 employees, raised a $5.5 million funding round in December from Charles River Ventures as it developed the new service, but doesn’t have plans for a new venture round any time soon, Adler says.

As mobile app developers put more attention on actually making money off their technology, Fiksu is well-positioned to help them sort out the complexity of the app marketing field, Adler says. He hopes the company won’t just be a tool for mobile marketers and advertisers, but a complete service to getting customers to their apps. “The more we run these campaigns, the larger our insight gets to the general dynamics of the field,” Adler says.

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