In 2011, as mobile apps were exploding in popularity and usage, marketers could see a correlation between their marketing investments and mobile app performance - but couldn’t demonstrate a direct link between their marketing activity and business growth, or determine which specific activities were responsible for their success.
That’s the problem that Oren Kaniel and Reshef Mann, two high school friends and engineers, sought to solve when founding AppsFlyer. The AppsFlyer platform introduced software and tools for mobile app developers and marketers to measure the effectiveness of their mobile advertising spend, providing comprehensive insights for brands to make data-driven decisions on their marketing campaigns.
AppsFlyer has won over an impressive list of customers, including: HBO, Waze, Alibaba, Skyscanner, Adidas and NBC Universal. Today, AppsFlyer’s technology is found on nearly 7 billion mobile devices worldwide. In 2018, the team surpassed US $100m in Annual Recurring Revenue, making it one of the fastest growing SaaS companies in the world, and expanding staff to over 600 team members across 15 offices globally.
Davor Hebel, Head of Eight Roads Europe Ventures, met Oren and Reshef in 2014, and was struck by the company’s strong revenue growth and significant momentum in the market; at the time it had already been adopted by 1,300 leading applications. Eight Roads led the company’s $20m Series B funding round and followed on in its Series C round in 2017, alongside Qumra Capital, Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing (PCI), Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP), and Pitango Growth. Through the course of the investment the company has experienced several years of hyper-growth and surpassed all expectations. Here are a few reasons why we think it was able to scale so successfully:
Winning in a quickly developing market: Oren and Reshef saw an opportunity to create mission critical software to serve and capitalise on the rapidly developing mobile ecosystem. As the mobile market grew to include new digitally connected devices, the demand from customers for AppsFlyer’s software has grown too. This developing market has created new and exciting possibilities for brands to reach customers, as well as higher consumer expectations, more sophisticated marketing strategies, and an increasingly complex set of problems - requiring the AppsFlyer team to remain flexible, grow with and beyond the market demands, and continually iterate their products.
Company leadership and culture: From Day One, Oren and Reshef focused a great deal of time and energy on building a great company culture. By creating initiatives such as the AppsFlyer Academy and GEEP - the Global Employee Exchange Program, they have also managed to maintain a collaborative team structure as they’ve scaled globally:
“We built the company from the bottom up with the culture in mind, carefully selecting the right people with the right skill sets and personalities to evolve and grow the company globally. We strive to find the best ways for our teams to collaborate and maintain the feeling of a global village.” Oren, CEO, AppsFlyer
Oren’s leadership style has also been key to AppsFlyer’s success. Oren has often talked about being ‘all-in’, and focusing 100% on the company. He maintained his clear goal of scaling AppsFlyer, trusted his instincts and how to embrace key trends without becoming a follower. He finds the ‘AppsFlyer’ way of doing things rather than mimicking other companies.
Global mindset from Israel: The AppsFlyer team knew if it wanted to become a leader in mobile attribution and marketing analytics, it had to expand outside of its home market - Israel, quickly. Since 2011, it has made the shift from local champion to truly global business, opening 15 offices across the world. Its global ambitions are not yet fulfilled, and the team has plans to open more offices soon…