There’s no shortage of mobile applications floating around, with Apple’s app store alone counting nearly 340,000 apps created just this year. So, what’s an app developer to do in order to get recognized?
That’s a problem that a number of companies are looking to solve, including recent TechStars grad MobileDevHQ.
But mobile veteran Jai Jaisimha thinks he may have the special touch. The former AOL, RealNetworks and Medio Systems developer and exec recently unveiled Appnique, a new service that provides detailed rankings and keyword analytics that developers can use to help climb the charts. The company recently scored $400,000 in financing, including cash from Seattle angel Rudy Gadre. [See profile: Meet Rudy Gadre: This former Facebook and Amazon exec is lighting up Seattle’s angel scene]. The 8-person company is looking to raise up to $600,000 more.
In addition to improving an app’s search rank in the various app stores, Jaisimha said the tool is designed to help developers get a better sense of how they compare to competitors. For example, a gaming company could see how its Android-based games compare to rivals in terms of ratings and reviews.
“We can figure out who is your competition, and keep track of how they are doing relative to your app,” said Jaisimha, adding that Appnique is currently tracking over one million apps across the Google Play and Apple app stores.
Appnique isn’t Jaisimha’s first startup idea. He first created a company called Open Mobile Solutions, which was originally designed as a marketplace where companies could find mobile app development talent. But now he’s going full steam ahead with Appnique.
Jaisimha said that they made the change after discovering that many app developers — no matter if they created a compelling app — could not get discovered. “That seemed like a much wider pain point,” said Jaisimha, adding that he developed a passion for analytics while working as vice president of product at mobile search startup Medio.
Appnique is a more compelling business idea in Jaisimha’s view in part because it is a self-service platform, with companies able to get the tool up-and-running in a few minutes. “We monetize directly for people using our tool,” he said. “It is really much more forward looking.”
Appnique charges publishers between $50 per month and $1,000 per month. MobileDevHq, by comparison, charges between $50 and $150 per month for its tiers. It also offers higher pricing for larger enterprises, including keyword analysis, daily email reports and unlimited competitor tracking.
Asked how the two companies differ, Jaisimha noted that Appnique has developed a series of tracking tools that makes it easier to stay abreast of what competitors are doing.
“We tell people when people make changes to their apps,” he said. “So, for example, we can tell you when people change your titles or descriptions and insert certain keywords into the app descriptions, when you see a spike in reviews, and when your competitors see a spike in reviews, and whether your average rating went up or down. It is things that marketers care about and drive decision making. We have intelligence that tells you when those things are happening, and it is all about automation of analytics.”
In some ways, he sees Appnique kind of like a “Hubspot for mobile apps.”