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Localytics, the marketing and analytics platform for mobile and web apps, today announced its acquisition of Splitforce, an automated optimization tool purpose-built for mobile apps. With the acquisition, Splitforce co-founders Zac Aghion and David Ruiz join the Localytics team, bringing additional data science expertise to fuel the company’s predictive app marketing capabilities. A tool for app marketers and product managers to leverage user data, predictive app marketing helps predict and personalize user engagement at every stage of the customer journey.

“We’re focused on helping businesses turn their dataset into personalized engagement, and Splitforce has the best team and technology in place to deliver the cutting edge of that mission: predictive app marketing,” Localytics CEO Raj Aggarwal said.

Splifforce co-founder and CEO Zac Aghion gave details to TechNode on their shift from China to Boston prior to their acquisition by Localytics. “We were initially introduced to Localytics’ founding team through our investors at SOS ventures to discuss a technology partnership. During those conversations, we realized how aligned our vision for the future of the market was and what products would be required to fulfill that vision. The cultural fit was really important as well”

Over 250 mobile applications, including Marks & Spencer’s ‘Cook with M&S’, have used Splitforce to test and target different variations of app experience and marketing messages to collect data on how each performs against their key metrics. Through the application of machine learning algorithms called Auto-Optimization, the tool learns to show successful variations more often and so to quickly eliminates suboptimal variants. “We invest heavily into building a machine learning application to automate A/B testing and make it more efficient – something that our competitors absolutely do not have.” Aghion said.

Co-founder Aghion was a graduate of Chinaccelerator Batch IV and he shared his experience in China, which later helped them a lot. In interview with TechNode he said, “Our earliest customers were Chinese apps looking to attract an international audience, we quickly built tools that our US-based competitors did not allow for targeting of tests to specific segments of users based on their language or regional device settings.”

He described how China and the U.S. market are different with regards to mobile applications and its impacts to local company’s app marketing. “In many ways, China and Asia-Pacific countries (including Korea and Japan) have a much more mature mobile ecosystem. WeChat and Taobao have been innovating ahead of their US counterparts like WhatsApp and Amazon because of the exploding adoption of mobile devices.” He said, adding that “On the other hand, app marketing is still a very nebulous area in China – whereas in the US app marketing has come into much sharper focus as an industry vertical. The app stores in China are still very much wild, especially for the Android OS where the absence of Google’s Play Store has left a power vacuum.”

Used in more than 32,000 apps on more than 2.3 billion devices, Localytics attempts to bring app marketing and analytics together in one complete platform. Currently, Localytics say they work with companies including ESPN, eBay, Fox, and the New York Times.

According to Aghion, Localytics is increasingly doing more business in Asia. “One of their service TaxiForSure is a large Uber-like app servicing the Indian market. We are also active in China and have very large Chinese apps using our service.”

Showing a success case as an expat entrepreneur that has done business in China, he gave advice to foreign startups. “My advice is to find the unique value you possess as a foreigner in China: What inherent advantage do you have as a result of your foreign citizenship, language skills, or cross-cultural advantages that positions you to compete against the local populations of both China and your home country?”

Now that Splitforce acquired by Localytics, Aghion is joining Localytics to lead its predictive actions team, focusing on converting granular data into insights that predict a user’s next move. Co-founder David Ruiz will join Localytics’ engineering team. The deal closed at the end of March for an undisclosed amount.

Image Credit: SplitForce