AppVirality Inc, a San Francisco and Hyderabad-based mobile growth hacking startup announced a fresh round of funding of $500K from its existing investors, new angels, and Clicklabs. With their growth toolkit, the 12-month-old SaaS startup claims to have generated more than 1.5 million installs across their customers. Currently, AppVirality powers organic growth for industry recognized apps such as MakeMyTrip, Airtel, Quikr, Byjus, Yatra, Paytm, iXiGO, Redbus, Yepme, 1MG, MySmartPrice, FAASO’S, and hundreds of other apps in India and across the globe.
Story so far
AppVirality was founded by brother duo of Laxman Papineni and Ramakoteswar Rao Papineni in 2014. While working on their third startup, Giveaway.ly, a service that enabled businesses to run sweepstakes quickly without coding, they started receiving requests to develop similar solutions for mobile apps. So they started AppVirality along the same lines as a plug and play solution for brands to increase their app downloads through a Do-it-yourself (DIY) dashboard and Software Developer kit (SDK).
As a mobile growth toolkit, AppVirality enables mobile-focused companies to identify and implement the right growth techniques without having to code. Once integrated with the SDK, growth/marketing teams can make use of the ‘DIY’ dashboard to configure, analyze, and optimize the growth techniques. The current toolkit includes growth techniques - Uber/Airbnb like 'Personalized In-App Referrals', customer retention, social sharing, and unlock premium features etc.
Related read: AppVirality startup story from July 2014
AppVirality graduated from the Microsoft Accelerator Batch 4 in May 2014 and went on to raise their first seed round of funding in Janurary 2015. Talking about their latest funding round, Laxman, Co-founder and CEO of AppVirality, said,
Our growth has been driven by increased demand by app developers, who understand and value our technology. We have been overwhelmed by the response received from our customers.
Talking about their partnership, Samar Singla, Founder of Clicklabs and Paytm invested Jugnoo, said,“In today’s startup scenario, it is logical to look for synergies to bring best services together for the consumers. AppVirality’s expertise in growth hacking is an asset to Click Labs for boosting their mobile platforms because both are building solutions that compliment each other.”
Sector overview and future plans
The number of Internet users in India is growing exponentially and smartphones are leading this revolution. With arrival of low-cost, mid-range smartphones, a large percentage of the population is accessing Internet on mobiles for the first time. A recent report by IAMAI and KPMG projected that India will reach 236 million mobile Internet users by 2016, and 314 million by 2017. With over three million plus apps on Android and iOS app stores, 100+ funded startups and enterprises that are focussing on their mobile app strategies, Laxman estimates that even capturing 30% of this market can reap huge rewards.
Coming to the competition, AppVirality competes with global players such as Yozio, Tapstream, and Branch Metrics. Laxman added, “AppVirality’s USP is the fact that our solution is 100% automated (deep linking) and no coding is required. Most of our competitors provide up to 30% of automation and customers need to write the remaining code to attain the complete solution.”
With this second seed round of funding, AppVirality aims to focus more on product innovation and customer satisfaction. Over the course of the next 12 months they plan to increase their team strength from 12 to 25 and introduce eight more growth hacks or techniques for their consumers.
Currently AppVirality’s biggest market is India, with about 20 percent of their revenues coming from overseas markets such as Australia and South Korea. Their long term goal is to be a single stop shop for all growth hacks. Laxman added, "Currently, features such as in-app referrals, sweepstakes and contests have been our focus areas, going forward we plan to include loyalty programs, product sharing capabilities and localisation features."
Currently, the biggest problem for early stage startups is customer acquisition while for more mature startups and enterprises the focus shifts to customer retention. With their plug and play service and customised price plans (scale as you go model), AppVirality caters to both ends of the spectrum.
With the backing of experienced and recognised industry experts such as Google India head, Rajan Anandan; CEO of Tradeindia, Bikky Khosla; Click Labs, existing investors and a long list of clientele AppVirality is ‘growth hacking’ their way to success.