Based in Austin, the U.S., Appconomy has been targeting at China’s mobile app market from early on. To tap into the market, it reached partnership with a local industry leader, raised money from the Chinese company and a local venture capital firm, and has been developing products for local clients and users.
It’s been little less than two years since it announced partnership with Neusoft Corporation, one of the largest software solution providers in China in September 2011. Since then it has created a handful of services tailored to China market and recently raised new funding.
Zhangyingbao is an app generator for Taobao retailers. It claims it only takes 30 seconds to generate a native mobile app for a Taobao store. Its website shows over 2500 Taobao retailers have Zhangyingbao apps. An app generated not only enables customers to purchase goods there but also share shopping experiences onto Chinese social platforms such as Sina Weibo and WeChat.
Carrefour Smart Shopper helps retail brands in a Carrefour, the French retailer who has a large market share in China, to reach and engage shoppers. With the app, users can see all the discounts and promotions, or create shopping lists and share with friends. The step by step navigation guides users to where the goods they want to buy are. Appconomy also offers to feature location-aware, targeted ads for brands — an advert would pop up when a user is near to goods of a brand he or she likes or plans to buy.
Jinjin Marketplace is an app opening up to retail brands to feature loyalty and rewards programs. Features such as geo-targeted push notifications and SMS alerts are available for merchants to reach customers. For users it works just like e-coupon apps such as DDMap or Buding.
Joe Canterbury, COO of Appconomy explained to TechNode why they’d start up from China market,
- A large number of smartphone users and a promising future of the mobile Internet.
- China’s retail market has advanced a lot in the past ten to fifteen years and retail brands need Internet technology services to help them stand out in the e-commerce era.
- American retailers started adopting IT solutions in 1950’s that it’s hard to have them replace the existing systems with the new ones at the moment. Appconomy hopes to bring the successful products developed in China to the U.S. when they are needed there.
The company raised $1.5 million seed funding led by True Ventures in late 2010, and closed Series A of $16 million by the end of 2012 from two Chinese investors, Neusoft and Qiming Venture Partners, and existing investors. Recently it raised $2.9M new funding, aiming to raise a total of $6 million this round, according to Texas TechPlus.
Appconomy licensed Neusoft’s cross platform app environment. The latter promised to share its marketing resources in 80 cities and regions as well. Neusoft, in return, hopes to go abroad with the help from Appconomy. It also wants to get closer to customers while previously it only served businesses. Once the China’s largest software company, Neusoft began declining in recent years.