Andrej Nabergoj, who was chief executive of talking animals apps startup Outfit7 before he stepped down, raised $3.5 million from Playdom co-founder Rick Thompson and other investors to fuel his next stealth startup Iddiction.
Comcast Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, IDG Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Bayview Capital (which founded Gameview Studios) and Francisco Larrain, who is a director of engineering at Groupon, also participated in the round.
Nabergoj didn’t give many specifics on exactly what Iddiction will do. There are many, many companies which are all trying to attack the problem of app discovery and distribution.
But he did send us the following:
“When I was running Outfit7 I realized that despite our massive number of downloads, we were still having a hard time getting our apps to users.
People discover apps mainly through ranks. Algorithms that define those ranks are surfacing new apps by measuring download volume and acceleration, engagement, user feedback etc. That has worked okay to date, but by definition, top-ranking get the lion’s share of downloads because they are the most easily discoverable. The rich get richer and the small get smaller. In addition, most of the great apps that were able to climb to the top have no ways of staying and getting back there.
Developers are looking for ways to achieve and maintain high ranks by spending money on various customer acquisition channels. Big guys can afford that, but what about the small guy? Being featured by Apple is one way, but is only available to a lucky few. There are startups creating their own apps discovery engines, social app recommendation platforms, app networks and others but none of those came even close to addressing the problem. There’s got to be a better way to find great apps.
But what really matters is improving the experience of discovering apps for the user. If that can be done in a smart way it benefits the user, the app developer, and the Appstore.
I spent a lot of time researching this challenge and I think we have a solution. I started Iddiction, named after a slang term to describe dependency on mobile, particularly Apple, devices. Iddiction is still in stealth mode but we are working closely with a few developers to get it right before we launch publicly in the next couple of months.”
Outfit7 just surpassed 225 million downloads for its suite of talking character apps. When Nabergoj led the company, he harbored ambitions that mobile phones might be the perfect incubator for the next generation of beloved brands and characters like what console games did for Super Mario Bros. or what film initially did for Mickey Mouse.
But we hear that the company, which was originally founded by a group of highly-technical search engineers out of Slovenia had different views about how much funding to raise. That company has not taken funding to date and has been entirely bootstrapped.