Durham’s Appia secures $4.5 million in additional funding

Nov. 21, 2013 @ 02:41 PM

The Durham-based mobile app marketing technology company Appia has raised $4.5 million to help drive company growth.
The debt funding round was led by Portland, Maine-based North Atlantic Capital, which is the venture firm that also contributed $5 million in debt funding to the company earlier this year.
“This investment further strengthens Appia’s leadership in mobile app marketing, and we look forward to accelerating our growth,” Appia’s CEO Jud Bowman said in a statement in a news release.
Appia is in the business of mobile app marketing and sales. It started out in 2008 building online app stores for wireless phone service providers such as Mexico City-based América Móvil, and Vodafone India.
But then in 2011, Appia launched a service that made payment a factor in how apps were placed within the online store, representing a shift in how the company was primarily making its revenue.
The company gets paid each time a user installs a sponsored app. Bowman said it’s like the Google AdWords for websites, in which you can pay to have an advertisement displayed next to Google search results, but for apps. 
“As the number of apps continues to rise, it’s getting harder and harder to get discovered,” Bowman said. “App developers who have built the next great app are having to market it to rise to the top of the charts,” he added. “So our customer is the app developer that has built the latest great app. They pay us on a cost-per-install (basis).”
Bowman said the company has re-focused all of its resources into its sponsored app business, and he said its revenue has been surging ever since.
We’re putting all of our resources behind a business that’s growing – I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.
Appia has sponsored more than 63 million app installs to date, according to the release.
Bowman said the company’s revenues last year were more than three times the revenues it saw in 2011, and he said its 2013 revenues will be four to five times last year’s.
The company now employs 84 people, the majority of those workers based in Appia’s offices in Durham. Appia also has offices in New York and San Francisco.