No, this isn’t a post about Salt-N-Pepa’s 1980s hit song, “Push It,” or an ode to its current return to glory in the Geico ads. Instead (and better yet), we’re thrilled to announce our investment in Localytics, a leading mobile analytics and marketing automation SaaS provider that’s “pushing it” on a number of fronts. As the name alludes, Localytics is enabling multiple ways to engage with mobile app customers, including push messaging. However, what gets us especially excited about Localytics is that they are pushing beyond the boundaries and simple feature sets of most app marketing vendors by offering a unique and holistic solution that addresses the entire app lifecycle.
While we love a good throwback to the 80s, our decision to lead Localytics’ $35 million Series D is based on two important macro technology trends that we have tracked and evaluated over the last few years.
The first, and one that’s still in its early innings, is the need for CMOs to more deeply understand and engage with customers by leveraging powerful analytics. Given Sapphire Ventures’ track record of investing in marketing and analytics businesses, we’ve had the good fortune of backing exciting companies such as ExactTarget, Criteo, Krux, and ReturnPath, as well as Alteryx, Narrative Science, and Jaspersoft, amongst others. What we’re seeing now is an incredible opportunity to merge the two – marketing and analytics – to enable smarter, data-driven marketing decisions that drive business results.
The second trend is obvious – MOBILE! We can rattle off reinforcing statistics ad nauseam, but I personally became most convinced that mobile is eating the world when my 80-year old father implored me to download his new favorite news and sports mobile apps.
Recognizing the implication of these two trends, we set out to find a solution that would address the growing need for marketers to understand their mobile audience as they once did on the web by leveraging marketing automation and analytics tools. After meeting with countless companies, we finally met Raj Aggarwal (Founder, CEO of Localytics) 1.5+ years ago. At the time, he outlined an impressive vision to personalize the overall app experience building from a base of core analytics. And after checking-in with him periodically until our ultimate investment, we always came away impressed with how thoughtfully he continued to execute on that original vision he presented.
We’ve also been impressed by the Localytics’ best-in-class and very granular analytics platform that allows for highly-targeted engagement and app marketing, rather than solely generic push messages. The Company’s ability to offer B2C brands a way to actually understand and then engage their mobile audience, across the lifecycle of a consumer’s experience with a mobile app, is differentiated and compelling.
More importantly, however, Raj time and time again impresses us with his combination of vision, passion and humility. He and his co-founders have very deliberately surrounded themselves with phenomenal management team members whose backgrounds range from successful leadership roles at Hubspot, ExactTarget, Constant Contact, Brightcove, Rapid7 and LogMeIn, amongst others. Although they are rock stars professionally, we are even more humbled and excited by the opportunity to work with such great individuals on a personal level.
Raj and the Localytics team are capitalizing on a massive market opportunity, and we are convinced Localytics will be the eventual leader within the app marketing and analytics space. We are excited to keep “pushing it” with Localytics, helping them become the Marketo + Omniture of the new (read: mobile) world.