AppBank Helps Facebook Users Make Money, Looks to Become the Ad King for Social Apps
It’s always good to hear about another small Seattle startup that’s bootstrapped and already profitable. Yesterday it was Appature, today it’s AppBank. They may share the first three letters of their names (and bootstrapped profitability), but after that they’re about as different as two Internet software companies can be.
AppBank is a six-person company focused on developing software to help Facebook users create social entertainment applications—and get paid for them. The company is rolling out the public beta version of its site today. The world of Facebook apps is very crowded, of course, but what AppBank is trying to do is give average Facebook users easier ways to make simple apps like quizzes, surveys, and games in their spare time, and more effective ways to make money from them by providing targeted advertising. “It’s the first time a company has paired relevant ads with crowdsourced social entertainment,” says Fred Hsu, AppBank’s founder and CEO.
Hsu started the company in April of this year, together with chief operating officer Joyce Chang. Hsu is the co-founder of Oversee.net, a Los Angeles company that holds Internet domain names and does domain marketing for the search, display, and lead-generation industries. Oversee did $200 million in revenue last year, and Hsu sold a minority stake in the company to private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners for $150 million. Chang, for her part, came from Seattle-based Tracento, which implements Facebook applications like Friend Hugs, Kisses, and Send Flowers. Both UCLA computer science grads, Hsu and Chang are based in Seattle, and the rest of the company’s employees are in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas.
What AppBank offers is a quick way to create a Facebook quiz, for example—”What type of underwear are you?” or “Are you left-brained or right-brained?” or some such—and then free tools to … Next Page »