Appboy raises $15m in funding round, announces 210% subs growth

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App marketing automation firm Appboy has raised $15 million in a series B funding round and has announced a 210% growth in sign-ups since the beginning of the year.

As with Flurry – which was recently bought by Yahoo -, the New York-based Appboy focuses on helping app publishers retain and engage users, offering features like in-app, push and email messaging, location targeting, and user segmentation. The company, which launched in 2011, managed to raise $7.6 million in funding last year and counts publishers such as Urban Outfitters, GSN and Pic Stitch among its users.

Appboy latest round of funding was led by InterWest Partners, which was the initial investor in marketing automation company Marketo. The company says the money will be used to further expand its sales and marketing objectives.

CEO and co-founder Mark Ghermezian said:

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“We have entered a mobile-first era and it’s no longer acceptable to solely have a mobile product. Marketers must have an engagement strategy to prevent app abandonment. It’s incredibly encouraging to see our customers continually increasing key metrics through user engagement on a one-to-one level, even those with millions of customers.”

Investor interest in Appboy (the funding round was oversubscribed) just goes to show how important engagement is becoming. The smartphone markets in many western countries are fast becoming saturated and with that app download growth will naturally slow. Also, if we’re to believe a much publicised study by Deloitte, veteran smartphone owners are beginning to download less apps altogether. If this bears out, then retaining and engaging users is going to be paramount for developers and publishers.