Launched in March 2010, App Annie is the global leading provider of app store analytics and marketing intelligence for the Apple App Store.  The company is incorporated in Hong Kong but the team is based in Beijing.

App Annie was, in fact, founded as a subsidiary of  Exoweb, a Beijing based outsourcing company with about 60 people.  When iPhone become popular in 2008, Exoweb’s founder Bjorn Stabell, started a game studio, called Happylatte, to develop iPhone games. “We have been doing outsourcing work for mobile phone makers, such as Motorola, for a long time.  When iPhone launched in 2008, it is completely different from the old mobile phone environment and we decided to give it a try with our own games,” said Bjorn.

Happylatte launched a very successful iPhone game called, Highnoon, which is popular around the world, in particular in Hong Kong and Singapore.  It has lots of fans in U.K, France, etc, too.  (See our earlier post on Happylatte.http://technode.com/2011/02/26/happylatte-mobile-social-game-company/)

In order to better track and analyze Highnoon’s traffic and user pattern, Bjorn started another division, App Annie.  It makes app publishers easy to track their sales, downloads, rankings, and reviews, and enabling anyone to research the market performance of any app.  It has more than 13,000 registered users such as executives, marketers, and developers — including more than 50% of the top 100 Apple App Store publishers.

Currently, Bertrand Schmitt is App Annie’s CEO.  He said that the investment will be used to expand the scope of the App Annie services to other App Stores, develop new features, and help build additional premium services.

“We are very excited to have IDG Capital Partners sharing our vision: all content will move from retail to digital downloads on digital superstores like iTunes, Google Android Market, Amazon, and this will create dramatic changes in the analytics and market data landscape” said Bertrand.

Xiaojun Li, Partner, IDG Capital Partners has joined App Annie’s board of directors. Xiaojun says he “is excited to support a company that has generated such momentum with an audience of international mobile app developers ranging from major game publishers to Fortune 500 companies”. He continues that “App Annie’s vision is supported by tectonic changes in the software and content industry, a time when business leaders and marketing teams need more market guidance than ever.”