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App Annie scale is fueled by M&A and a generational consumer trend shift

2 weeks ago by Jon Marino in Facts, News

App Annie is scaling up, and as it tucks in competitors - and as the mobile market share of so many products continues to grow exponentially - it is poised to swipe market share from rapidly aging web competitors. 

App Annie ($APPANNIE) is growing - again. The company is poised to benefit from a generational consumer trend shift as more people shift to making purchases via app, instead of through desktop browsers. App Annie appears to have scaled down a bit, but added those roles back, and more, and headcount is just under 700 now. Lately, job postings (not shown) rose substantially - right before the company added more staffers to its LinkedIn roster, signaling growth. 

And it's unlikely that App Annie was hurting when it trimmed staff - after all the company has been buying out would-be challengers, which we'll get to in a bit. The company hit $100 million in revenue this year, making it a Silicon Valley success - from a top-line perspective, at least. That the company hasn't reportedly raised capital in years suggests healthy cash flow - good news to backers like Greycroft, Sequoia and IVP, which have helped pump more than $150 million into the app data unicorn. 

Thinknum can track key app metrics, like reviews, to determine how much consumers like a product - or the number of reviews consumers submit, which is a separate metric that helps evaluate new engagement. App Annie - founded in 2010 -  has been packing on customers over the last decade and with more than 1,700 users on the Google Play platform, alone, this metric reflects the massive market share among startups that the company has developed. But it isn't just startups - companies including Coca-Cola ($NYSE:KO) are also clients, and as more legacy companies look to build out better app presences, App Annie has positioned itself very well in its growing industry. 

App Annie, goes a bit further, tracking downloads, growth and usage, active users and in-depth analyses - like the annual State of Mobile report - for its users (suffice it to say, we're impressed). Part of this has been fueled by M&A - App Annie raised capital and bought out app marketing data firm AppScotch in 2016, as well as a Canadian app technology firm in Mobida and a Dutch one in Distimo, to fuel expansion and consolidate. Last month, App Annie struck its fourth deal, adding Libring to build out an advertising analytics capability to match its app measurement. 

It comes at a key time - App Annie can track smartphone engagement the way companies like Comscore ($NASDAQ:SCOR) promised they could for browser engagement. Then again, Comscore and ex-CEO Serge Matta were just charged with fraud (they settled) - and browser eyeballs seem to be getting less and less emphasis from advertisers these days, so it's safe to say App Annie's market share in an area where very few legacy web competitors have scaled, is well-defended. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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