Success factors on the way to the unicorn club

Today AppsFlyer announced its $210m Series D round, led by General Atlantic, and with that joins a fast-growing number of Israeli unicorns. We feel privileged to be part of this “rocket ship” having invested about five years ago when the company had one office and less than 50 employees. We are thankful for the chance to work with exceptional entrepreneurs Oren (read his thoughts on the raise) and Reshef who built a special company looking to transform the global market for marketing measurement. This journey has been facilitated by a set of constructive and supportive investors including Magma, Pitango, Qumra, Goldman Sachs, and now General Atlantic (welcome Alex, Anton, Zuhair and Ash!).

In a short time frame, AppsFlyer has grown to close to 1,000 employees across 18 offices globally and is widely acknowledged as one of the fastest growing SaaS companies in the world. Today AppsFlyer measures c.50 billion events daily with mission critical infrastructure that supports 12,000 customers including brands such as eBay, HBO, Tencent, NBC Universal and Nike and is connected to an ecosystem of over 5,000 partners including Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, Salesforce, Adobe, and Oracle. The company has received many industry accolades including being selected for the 2019 Inc. 5000 and Forbes 2019 Cloud 100 lists.

AppsFlyer’s rapid success, amazing growth and global footprint have been facilitated by three important strengths:

1)     Customer obsession – Customer obsession has been the main pillar of the company’s strategy from the early days. This meant continuing to be independent and unbiased in measurement and relentless on making sure that customers are happy – in fact, the first department the company built was customer success, not sales. Customer happiness is at the center of the company culture as well.

2)     Global ambition with strong company culture - The team has always had a global mindset and desire to be the global #1 since the beginning as they believed there are strong network effects in the business. To support this ambition the company has built a unique “all in” company culture that continues to be at the forefront of management attention, with customer obsession at the center. All employees even today spend considerable amount of time in the head office and learn the basics of company culture and values in AppsFlyer Academies.

3)     Technology product leadership in a highly dynamic market - Oren and Reshef saw an opportunity to create a mission critical software to serve and capitalise on the rapidly developing mobile ecosystem. However, often it wasn’t clear what the next important feature or module was going to be. So Reshef ended up building a highly modular and scalable infrastructure that supported the roll-out of new modules, such as fraud management, people attribution and analytics. This journey continues as the company focuses on building a broader set of marketing tools for thousands of customers.

In the last five years, since my colleague Gaurav and I flew to Israel for the first time, the market has matured even further. AppsFlyer is one of the new breed of Israeli companies that aspire to remain independent longer and build $10bn iconic ventures with bold and visionary founders and best-in-class technology teams. We are seeing more and more of these across our portfolio - ScyllaDBGloatHibobFireblocks and Planck as well as from across the broader market. Our Israeli coverage team including IradEyalBrian, myself as well as everyone else at Eight Roads Ventures across the globe couldn’t be more excited about new opportunities in 2020. Congrats AppsFlyer and keep soaring!