For unto us, a startup was born in 2013. This was the major breakout year for MobileAppTracking. Though we released the product in November of 2011, I would say that the first 9 months were more like a glorified beta, and I’m so thankful for those early adopters that showed us the path toward a great product. This year it became a reality. With clients from every major region and the majority of top grossing apps, MobileAppTracking has truly become a standard for unbiased attribution in a single short year.
What was it like giving birth to a startup up inside HasOffers? Well, it is hard to even remember how crazy it was. Looking back there were so many moments where we almost pulled the plug, when the revenue still wasn’t scaling, and the HasOffers product continued to carry all of the burden. I distinctly recall a day in mid 2012 where we legitimately considered shutting it down. Not only was it not taking off, but it was taking our focus from the product that continued to grow successfully. Looking back, I’m so happy that we stayed the course and continued to believe in the need for attribution analytics for mobile apps because this year we finally saw true product validation. Named a top 10 mobile advertising company and one of the hottest enterprise mobile startups, this two year old product gained recognition beyond a speed that any of us could believe.
This year we had to start thinking about how both products get the resources they need to experience really wild growth and reach their full potential. One thing we considered last winter was bringing on an investment partner. What would it look like to have someone new and experienced fighting in our corner and plenty of cash on the balance sheet to make strategic decisions rather than reactive ones. So in the spring I headed down to Silicon Valley to court VCs and Growth firms to learn what a great investment partner would look like. I have to say that over the course of two months from research to closing the deal, we learned so much. In fact the criteria for a partner we optimized for in the beginning was completely different by the end. It wasn’t really until the last week before term sheets came in that we really understood how little the price mattered and how much we really wanted to optimize on finding the right the partner that would ignite our growth and connections. We found that in Rich Wong at Accel Partners. We raised $9.4 million and added Rich to our board, and the result has been incredible.
If you’ve ever talked to me personally about this experience I probably told you that I still don’t know what it is like to raise money because I went to Silicon Valley with an 80 person, bootstrapped and profitable company (thanks to founders Lucas and Lee Brown), and I still don’t know what it is like to have an investor on the board because we have Rich Wong. He is a partner and incredible supporter. He and Vas Natarajan are work horses for us, answering our midnight emails and supporting us in our craziest moments. I can honestly still say that this was one of our best decisions in 2013.
From there it seemed like we strapped ourselves to a rocketship. The excitement jolted all of us into hyperdrive, and the clients and partners we were working with pushed us even further toward excellence. We integrated MobileAppTracking with over 300 advertising platforms and nearly a dozen other third party systems. We opened an office in London, continued growing in Tel Aviv and San Francisco, and we laid the ground work for Asia/Pacific. All the while, we’ve been pushing product forward. Even a couple weeks ago we released a completely new interface design and framework for MobileAppTracking that will serve as the building block for many features to come. This year we will watch as brands, retailers, and ecommerce organizations take a deeper dive into their mobile advertising and user engagement strategies. We will witness the Internet’s eyeballs and purchasing habits shift further toward mobile experiences, and we look forward to supporting the fast growing verticals and channels that will rise up in 2014.
Amidst all of the mobile app fray, we set the HasOffers product on a new path of innovation. In 2013, our HasOffers software for performance networks continued to grow at an impressive rate, bringing on exciting new clients every month and supporting many of the industry’s leaders. In April we launched a new publisher interface for the HasOffers product, and it was an enormous success with accolades across our client base. Since that time we’ve created an aggressive product roadmap helping to bring our HasOffers clients into the world of mobile and provide advanced features for payouts, adserving, and reporting. As this year comes to a close, we want our clients using our HasOffers product to know that we are making a new commitment to the growth and innovation of this supply side product. We have big plans.
In 2013, we grew to more than 125 people with offices in four major cities, nearly 20 people in both our San Francisco and Tel Aviv offices. That is some pretty major growth in one year’s time, but we’ve continued to do it profitably. We still haven’t dipped into that investment capital from Accel Partners, and we’re saving it for more strategic moves in 2014. The thing I’ve been most impressed with is our people. We’ve somehow been able to keep our focus on product and innovation. We haven’t lost sight of what it means to collaborate and generate real output. We’re pushing harder and harder every day and our dreams are only getting bigger. With a work ethic still modeled by our co-founders, it is obvious to our entire team that we’re just getting started.
When people ask me what it is like to be the CEO of HasOffers, I always say we really have the most amazing people. They approach their jobs with low drama, high output, and real passion. They’ve taken the HasOffers CODE (collaborate, optimize, do, evolve) to levels we had never considered. They come to work everyday excited to solve problems and push the envelope. They strive to be great at what they do and make this once bootstrapped startup into something that makes a difference in this industry. I have an incredible sense of pride and appreciation for the people that make HasOffers what it is and I am often overwhelmed by what they have created.
I wish I could tell you everything we have planned for 2014, but we have a few tricks up our sleeve for both HasOffers and MobileAppTracking that we’ll reveal at the right moments. From organizational strategy, to feature development, to scalability, this year we learn what we’re really made of. As I’ve told our team before, I believe that we’ve now qualified for the marathon. We’ve put in a serious amount of work to get to this point and we’ve been given the chance to line up on the starting line alongside so many impressive companies. We have the opportunity of a lifetime to be a standard for unbiased attribution analytics. Now it is time for us to start the race.
A digital marketer by background, Peter is the former CEO of TUNE, the enterprise platform for partner marketing. In 2018, he sold TUNE’s mobile measurement product to Branch, unifying measurement and user experience. He led TUNE’s efforts to bring better management technology and automation to marketing partnerships, across affiliates, influencers, networks, and business development relationships. Follow @peterhamilton