When talking about mobile app analytics tools, you may think of a variety of services like App Annie and Flurry. But when it comes to app analytics tools in Japan, Fuller is a name worth noting for foreign companies that want to better understand the market.
Fuller is a Japanese startup that provides both battery saver apps for individual users and mobile app analytics data for business clients. Fuller’s product lines include Mr. Mobile and AppQuarium, two free battery-saving apps, and App Ape, a service that provides data on smartphones and apps.
“The basic concepts of Mr. Mobile and AppQuarium is to keep Ojisan (the cartoon character of Mr. Mobile) or the fishes in the aquarium in good condition by deleting the unnecessary apps that’s eating up your battery. We will tell users which apps are unused based on app usage information, and finally to extend the battery life of your smartphone and improve its operating speed.” said Shuta Shibuya, CEO of the company.
By analyzing the user data collected from these two apps, App Ape allows businesses to conduct a market survey and a competitive research. Since its launch in November 2014, the web browser-based analytics tool has amassed 3,000 free clients and 30 to 40 paid clients. As a freemium product, App Ape’s paid service is based on monthly subscription model. Its clients include Candy Crush, Facebook, DeNA, Gunosy, Eureka, and Adways.
“Our business model is to provide free apps for individual users and collect mobile app usage data from them. The data are then shared with enterprise clients like app developers, advertising agencies, telecom carriers, social media,” said Shibuya.
Both of Fuller’s 2C apps are only available on Google Play, so App Ape’s analytics data only reflects the behaviors of Android users in Japan. “We have the data for all most all apps in Google Play, but not that on iOS platform because App Store doesn’t allow services like us to watch the user usage data”, explained Shibuya.
This February, the company has secured 230 million yen (US$1.9 million) of fresh investment led by Global Catalyst Partners, raising its total funding to 330 million yen together with the 100 million yen round from UK-based m8 capital and Tokyo-based internet service provider Asahi Net received in 2012.
Upon receiving the new round, Fuller plans to expand globally and its first destinations are mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. With a goal of applying its business to markets beyond Japan, the company has set up an office at Shanghai and a Chinese version is going to be released very soon.
Despite the success in Japan, Fuller is still new to the ultra-competitive Chinese market and there are lots of obstacles for the team to overtake, like how to localize and promote the 2C apps, given that their model requires solid user base in order to ensure the reliability of their data analytics service. Moreover, how to handle the multiple Android app stores in China is another problem.
“We are still trying to understand the market here and we want to start with selling Japanese market data to Chinese companies that are interested in expanding to Japan,” said Shibuya. “Our team is also in discussion with local partners to promote our business in China.”
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