Amid the confusing and complex world of ad tech, one new startup is hoping to take advantage of the fragmented environment and make the manual process of app install campaigns a little less tedious.
Acquired.io, based in the Silicon Valley city of Foster, Calif., is launching with a platform for managing campaigns across platforms like Facebook, Google, Snapchat and various ad networks. The company wants to help developers more efficiently manage a growing number of channels that it says has grown from 700 in 2015 to more than 1,500 in 2017.
The company, which was in stealth mode until this week, has already been working with companies including the game developer IGG and the messaging app TextNow. It’s also raised $2 million in angel investor funding from the likes Jonathan Zweig, the founder of AdColony, and John Zdanowski, the former CFO of Linden Labs (the maker of the virtual world Second Life).
Prior to co-founding Acquired.io, CEO Andrey Kazakov and fellow co-founder Max Gannutin co-founded and ran AppScotch, an app marketing data company that was acquired by App Annie last year. After staying with the company for a year, Kazakov and Gannutin were deciding what to do next, and after having conversations with people operating user acquisition or marketing departments at various companies, they realized the fragmented market was taking too much time and money to manage—especially for smaller firms.
“It doesn’t sound complex, but it’s multiplied on the number of channels and eventually that boils down to advertisers needing to have one dedicated person just to do manual work,” Kazakov said.
According to Kazakov, many developers spent at least half of their marketing budget with Facebook and Google, while splitting the other half between 20 and 50 other channels. While Acquired.io is compatible with Facebook, he said it will be more useful for monitoring and changing ad campaigns run on publisher websites and through other ad networks.
Kazakov said many user acquisition teams spend 80 percent of their time doing manual “grunt work.” And while there are some companies that do ad attribution for installs or cost, Acquired.io helps advertisers buy more time in an efficient way.
While the company is starting with a focus on game developers (because of existing connections from their previous company), Kazakov said the software is applicable to any brand marketing a mobile app.
“Think of an operation where the need [is] to just budget,” he said. “First of all, they need to find out which channels are underperforming by using Excel or a third party product. But when they need to act, they go to every individual channel, find the corresponding campaign, and change the budget … it takes a lot of time.”