A research conducted by MarketsandMarkets estimates the global mobile applications market to be worth $25 billion by 2015, compared with $6.8 billion in 2010. The app market is dominated by North America, which contributes 42% of the market share. But European markets are projected to grow more rapidly than North America to $8.4 billion, making Europe the biggest market by 2015.
The success of a mobile app is dependent on the usage that the app manages to command. While there may be several apps powered by the technological giants that don’t necessarily need the push to become popular, there are others that need ample marketing to generate a strong user base. AppGratis is one company that focuses on helping app developers get their apps downloaded by users.
Paris-based AppGratis was founded in 2010 by Simon Dawlat. AppGratis is like a Groupon for apps that releases daily deals on apps, providing users with apps free or at discounts as high as 90%. Before becoming an app discount store, AppStore began as an e-mail newsletter where the founder would list his favorite app for the week. Today, AppGratis has more than 10 million users with more than three million daily active users. Their service is available in more than 120 countries in 12 languages for iOS devices, and it offers 30 different app deals every day in 12 languages in 30 markets and time zones. They have helped developers record downloads of more than one million in a single day.
It is not just apps: AppGratis users can also benefit from the frequent freebies such as free in-app purchases and level unlocks that they would otherwise need to be purchased. Unlike most other technology companies, AppGratis does not rely on intelligent algorithm to market their apps to users. The app deals are selected by their team members, and the apps are tested in-house before being released to their user base.
Like Groupon, AppGratis earns revenues by charging a share of the revenue from the developer. They also charge an up-front fee from the developer for their services. AppGratis does not disclose their pricing or financials, but analysts estimate that they earn revenues of more than $1 million a month and are already profitable. The company has been largely bootstrapped, but last month raised $13.5 million in funding from Iris Capital and Orange Publicis Fund. The funds raised are proposed to be used mostly for international expansion and talent acquisition.
AppGratis is seeing strong growth in the emerging markets of Brazil and India. The influx of funds will help them continue to drive growth in these markets. AppGratis will deploy these funds to set up operations in these high growth markets as they believe that to they need to be “in the field, close to the game developers, the studios and the mobile brands.”