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Lee Brown, Peter Hamilton and Lucas Brown of Tune
Lee Brown, Peter Hamilton and Lucas Brown of Tune

Tune, which bootstrapped its way to success during its first four years, continues to reel in outside financing to fuel a big-time growth spurt. The Seattle-based company, whose mobile analytics products are used by companies such as Starbucks, The New York Times and Uber, today is announcing $27 million in venture financing.

TUNE_VisualMark_ColorIcon Ventures led the deal, with participation from Performance Equity Management, Accel Partners and others.  Jeb Miller of Icon Ventures, formerly Jafco Ventures, will join the board as a result of the deal.

Tune was founded under the HasOffers moniker in 2009 by twin brothers Lucas and Lee Brown. It now says that half of the top 20 grossing mobile apps use the service, and just this month it hit a $60 million annual revenue run rate.

The new capital will help fuel more growth, with additional expansion planned for its newly-opened European operations in Berlin as well as at its hubs in Tel-Aviv, Seoul and New York. It plans to hire an additional 100 employees this year, including many engineers at the offices in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.

“We are not going to spend it all. Certainly, this is strategic and it is a milestone for us for what happens for us in 2016, and beyond,” said CEO Peter Hamilton. He also said the company may target some additional acquisitions, though it is not in any active talks right now.

tune-appscreen1The company raised its first-ever round of capital in 2013, pulling in $9.4 million from Accel Partners and others. At the time, it employed just 79 people. Now, the company employs 250 people, and continues to grow rapidly through acquisitions and organic growth. Last year, Tune bought Seattle startup MobileDevHQ — a service that allows mobile marketers to track keywords and competitors, helping to boost app downloads in the process.

That product was integrated with Tune’s MobileAppTracking service, which allows clients to better track which channels help drive installations. Tune also continues to offer its HasOffers service, which helps marketers manage ad campaigns, invoices and payouts.

“We are working on unifying a marketing platform, and really providing a place for marketers to see their … reengagement, their app-store discoverability and rankings and the organic users that are coming to their apps,” said Hamilton, adding that they are trying to pull all of that data into one place. The mobile landscape is extremely fragmented right now and he believes Tune is well positioned to pull together the pieces of the puzzle in one dashboard, he said.

tune-hamilton-brownTune operates in the same arena as San Francisco-based Mixpanel, which just last month raised $65 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz and others. TechCrunch reported at the time that the deal was completed at a whopping $865 million valuation, a huge valuation for a company that’s smaller than Tune (at least by employee count).

Hamilton said Tune was not valued higher than Mixpanel in the latest round, a company which says its mission is to help the “world learn from its data.”

Tune actually partners with Mixpanel, and Hamilton said he actually “loves what they’ve built” in terms of an analytics product.

“They are focused on in-app analytics and what happens once a user has installed your app versus providing technologies for the marketers to connect with the marketing platforms that do attribution and measure what users came from where,” he said.

Even with the Tune’s latest financing round, Hamilton said the company will continue to stick close to its roots.

“We are not born of VC funding, and I believe that our bootstrapper mentality continues,” said Hamilton, adding that Tune has operated at break even on a month-to-month basis. “Our financial responsibility is always a focus, and we have been aggressive with our innovation, and conservative with our finances. That has a built a real foundation of long-term success.”

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