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App Annie shows which apps have highest usage, picks up more funding

The mobile app analytics company continues to add features and says it has no plans for an acquisition or an IPO.

App Annie is going to help its customers better understand the way apps are used. Sarah Tew/CNET

App Annie is making it easy for developers and even rival software makers to see how often the public is using an app, potentially upending the way companies discuss their products.

The company, based in both Beijing and San Francisco, said Tuesday the new feature will give subscribers a window into how often people use a particular app on a monthly, weekly or daily basis.

"Our mission is to bring more transparency and visibility into the marketplace," said App Annie CEO Bertrand Schmitt.

The move could be a watershed moment for app development. Until now, people outside a company couldn't accurately measure usage for a particular app or service. Small companies closely guard such data, while large companies often tend to discuss it during a quarterly earnings report to Wall Street. Now, rivals and investors willing to pay App Annie will be able to glean a specific app's usage with a button click. "At the end of the day, it's better for everybody," Schmitt said.

Few other companies make such information available to the public. AppData, an analytics and research company, previously showed usage data but now publishes revenue and download estimates. Most other firms, like Yahoo's Flurry analytics, track intricate statistics but don't make that information available to the wider public.

App Annie also estimates an app's revenue, a feature that attracts venture capitalists and app developers, as well as a product's demographic makeup. The company claims its analytics tools are being used by 90 percent of the top mobile app developers. That translates to roughly 675,000 apps, including those from Google, Microsoft and video game maker Electronic Arts. That ubiquity allows the company to "estimate" a given app's revenue or usage, using either data taken directly from the app or an algorithm. The company also said it counts 350,000 registered users, though some merely pay App Annie to access its data.

Although not yet profitable, the company plans to expand to 450 employees spread across the US, Europe and Asia by the end of this year. It currently has about 300 employees.

The company on Tuesday also said it has raised $55 million from Institutional Venture Partners, Greycroft Partners, IDG Capital Partners and Sequoia Capital. That brings its total to $94 million.

Schmitt said he isn't planning an initial public offering and isn't hoping to get acquired. "An IPO is something we might consider at some point," he said. "We are looking more at staying independent."