Localytics Acquires Splitforce to Personalize Mobile Marketing

Localytics continues its roll. The Boston-based mobile marketing and analytics company announced today it has snapped up Splitforce, a New York startup that Localytics CEO Raj Aggarwal said will help the company advance its vision of bringing a more sophisticated form of marketing to apps.

Localytics did not say what it paid for Splitforce. The acquisition follows Localytics’ $35 million Series D round last month. The company employs about 200 people, has raised a total of $60 million, and last month announced it has passed the $10 million mark for its revenue run rate.

At the time, Aggarwal also discussed Localytics’ desire to move into what he calls predictive app marketing. He views that as the next step in the startup’s work to improve user engagement and retention for the mobile and Web app makers that are Localytics’ customers. Localytics has used what Aggarwal calls “historical data”—tracking what people do while using an app—to help publishers understand their users’ behavior. He said customers use the analytics and user engagement tools supplied by Localytics to help retain users liable to stop using their app and to keep all the money app makers spent on user acquisition from being wasted.

Predictive marketing promises to do an even better job of spotting when someone’s about to quit using the app or identify new ways to reach them, Aggarwal said, and buying Splitforce is “critical” for that push.

Splitforce does mobile A/B testing that its customers use to optimize their user experiences and to refine marketing messages to selected audiences. While Splitforce is small and only two years old, Aggarwal said it has made progress by creating software that allows for “auto-optimization” that can lead to improved user retention and targeted marketing.

The combination should make Localytics a stronger company as mobile marketing continues to develop as an industry, Aggarwal said.

“As the app space matures and it becomes more competitive, the winners in the space are going to be the ones that take advantage of the data to really personalize the end-user experience,” he said. “In order to do that properly, you need to go beyond just leveraging historical data. Now there are techniques through data science and machine learning that will allow you to really extract insights about users and really personalize their experience.”

Splitforce and Localytics had been in contact for about six months before the deal closed at the end of March, Aggarwal said. The acquisition did not depend on raising the $35 million round, but the cash helped.

“It enabled us to make sure that things happened quickly and that we were able to be aggressive with these types of moves,” he said.

Most of Splitforce’s team has moved to Boston to join Localytics, including co-founders Zac Aghion and David Ruiz.

Even without the predictive features, Localytics has succeeded landing prominent customers such as ESPN, eBay, and the New York Times.

“The leaders in this space are trusting us to help them make the most of their app investments and their app strategies,” Aggarwal said.

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