In the Media
“It’s so rare to see a company get to that level of revenue on a relatively small amount of capital,” Allred said. “The founders are so smart, and they’re building a great team around them as well, including a seasoned finance executive like Ken Goldman.”
Fiksu, a Boston-based mobile ad targeting company, has been quietly growing into what could be one of the next big local marketing companies. Today, it announced that it has received $10 million, in what it is calling mezzanine debt funding (no equity taken most likely), from Silicon Valley Bank.
The company uses a Big Data and artificial intelligence approach to analyzing the effectiveness mobile ads, which it calls its “Programmatic Mobile Demand Platform,” and to help companies better target their mobile marketing campaigns. Some of Fiksu’s clients include Coca-Cola, Disney, The New York Times, and Dunkin’ Donuts, among others.
More recent data from Fiksu shows an adoption curve closer to iOS 5 (the last version you needed iTunes to upgrade to) than to iOS 6 or iOS 7.
If you follow Apple news closely, at some point in the last week you've probably seen the graph above. It's from Apple's Developer Support page, and the company calculates the figure by looking at the iOS versions of devices accessing the App Store. Like Google's analogous developer dashboard for Android, it's meant to give developers a broad look at OS usage so they can use that data to determine which OSes to support with their apps.
After that opening weekend, Fiksu had the iPhone 6 at 1.82% of all iPhones tracked and the Plus at 0.28%. That gives us a ratio of 6.5:1 and implies that roughly 8.7 million of the total were the vanilla 6.
The opening weekend for the iPhone 6 was Apple’s best ever for a new smartphone, with 10 million sold in just three days. But with those initial totals always benefiting from preorders, it typically takes a while before the company is able to double them. Though Apple hasn’t put out any official numbers yet, using data from third parties that track such things, it appears the “second 10 million” iPhone 6 and 6 Pluses are nearly all in the hands of customers. Apple’s rumored goal of delivering 70-80 million iPhones between the launch and the end of the year is moving from abstract to real as the numbers come into focus.
"With increased brand spending will come demands from advertisers for integrated, end-to-end solutions that make large-scale buying easy and provide detailed performance metrics. In addition, the agencies who control the bulk of large brand spending will want to make their advertising purchases in familiar ways, and that means buying audiences—not networks, publishers or clicks," said Craig Palli, Fiksu's chief strategy officer.
Yerday, we provided an in-depth look at how mobile could become the premiere advertising channel. But there's obviously plenty of work to be done. So we asked industry players: What is mobile's big challenge going forward? Here are the seven most-intriguing responses we gathered.
Craig Palli, chief strategy officer at Boston-based Fiksu, believes it is a move many iPhone users have been awaiting.“The biggest complaint among Android fans for years about the iPhone was that it didn’t support Swype-like functionality, which is a highly efficient means of inputting information,” said Palli.
New smartphone apps aim to solve the problem of keyboards causing aching fingers or auto-correct resulting in embarrassing blunders.
The apps replace Qwerty keyboards with alternatives designed to provide better auto-correct and more seamless typing.
“As we’ve seen in past years, anticipation for new Apple devices always curtails mobile marketing spend and app installs as users and app marketers eagerly await the new smartphones,” said Micah Adler, CEO of Fiksu, in a statement.
User acquisition and marketing company Fiksu has released its indexes for the month of August 2014, which seemed to reflect a “wait and see” dynamic for app installs across both iOS and Android devices. In addition, Fiksu found the anticipation for the launch of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iOS 8 lowered app marketing costs, alongside the expected summer holiday slowdowns. This resulted in a Cost Per Loyal User of $1.86 on iOS, down six percent month-over-month, and two percent year-over-year.
Through the first few days of availability, there's a clear winner in terms of popularity -- and it's not the iPhone 6 Plus! Usage of the iPhone 6 has been five to seven times higher than that of the iPhone 6 Plus since the two new models went on sale, according to data collected by Fiksu.
Apple's newest iPhones went on sale on Sept. 19, and for the second year in a row the company introduced two new versions of the handset. Both phones have significantly larger screens than the 3.5-inch and 4-inch screens Apple previously used. The iPhone 6 screen measures 4.7 inches, while the iPhone 6 Plus is a full-fledged "phablet" with a 5.5-inch screen.
From both Fiksu’s and Mixpanel’s charts Apple’s iPhone 6 is still seeing much better sales and usage than the 6 Plus. This isn’t too surprising given the lead-times for the 6 have been better than the 6 Plus.
Every few days I have been tracking the lead-times for Apple AAPL -0.16%’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus similar to what I did starting with the iPhone 4S. I do this via Apple’s websites, Verizon AT&T T +0.6% and Sprint and three Vodafone sites and have created a Google Doc to keep track of all my lead-time observations. Hopefully in a few days the countries that have been selling the iPhones for a week will see their lead-times shrink vs. the newer countries have theirs become longer.
According to Fiksu, the cost per loyal user has also risen significantly between 2012 and 2014, with said cost finally hitting an all time high last month of $2.23 per user, making June 2014 the most expensive month on record for user acquisition.
The cost of app marketing is on the rise, with data collected by marketing outfit Fiksu showing that the cost of acquiring a loyal user has increased by 9 percent year-over-year since 2013 to $1.97.
The cost per install has also risen, shooting up by 44 percent on Android and 16 percent year-over-year on iOS.
“The July Fiksu Indexes reflected the typical slowdown of summer behavior but confirmed that underlying app marketing costs are still rising consistently year-over-year,” said Micah Adler, CEO of Fiksu.
The cost of getting a loyal mobile user fell 9 percent in July compared to the previous month, but that’s only a little bit of a breather for mobile app developers and publishers, according to a report by mobile marketing firm Fiksu.
The cost per loyal user, or one that opens an app three times, was $1.97 in July, down 9 percent from $2.23 in June. However, there’s not a lot to celebrate, as the costs were still at the second-highest monthly level in the four-year history of the Fiksu indices. And the July costs were up 9 percent from a year earlier.