Bangalore and San Francisco-based mobile ad network InMobi has launched an Android app store distribution platform called App Publish. The free-to-use platform will enable Android developers to publish their apps across global app stores in just a few clicks.
The launch of the platform also marks the integration of the app distribution capabilities that InMobi got through its acquisition of Metaflow Solutions, a UK-based mobile app management and distribution solutions firm. InMobi acquired the company in July 2012 for an undisclosed amount and the Metaflow team relocated to InMobi's new London office.
At that time, InMobi's founder and CEO Naveen Tewari said, "Our acquisition of Metaflow Solutions will help us in rapidly expanding the distribution and monetisation of content for our developers and publisher partners."
What App Publish does
According to the company, although app discovery on Google Play is a challenge for developers and users alike, alternative channels like GetJar, Mobango, Slide Me and several third-party app stores based in China are estimated to drive billions of downloads every year. But while these outside sources help developers reach millions of users in new markets, publishing independently on each app store presents its own set of challenges â€“ namely, navigating international laws, different aesthetic & informational requirements of different platforms, difficulties in tracking & reporting download & installation figures and challenges faced in collecting revenues from smaller or international platforms.
App Publish aims to address these issues by reducing the cost and effort of submitting apps to multiple app stores. Developers can launch their apps in more than 130 global app stores and also manage their presence in each app store using a single dashboard. Additionally, payments and payouts are easy to collect.
"Paying for position and app discovery on Google Play is becoming increasingly expensive and ultra-competitive. The launch of App Publish serves to meet the mass desire from app developers to compete in multiple channels. Early beta testers of App Publish have seen 30 per cent more downloads through these new app store channels," said Girish Prabhu, head of product management for developer platforms at InMobi.
Set up in 2007, InMobi caters to advertisers, publishers and developers globally, and is backed by investors including Softbank, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures. The company currently employs 800 people and has customers in 165 countries. In 2011, it had struck the largest deal (till date) in the mobile internet space in India with $200 million commitment from Japan's Softbank Corp. InMobi has raised around $215.5 million till date and has offices in India, the UK and the US (as well as in other global locations). It has recently expanded its footprint in rest of Asia, Europe and Australia.
Late last month, InMobi also joined the likes of Microsoft, Apple, Google, Samsung, Facebook and Amazon to secure a place in the MIT Technology Review's list of 50 Disruptive Companies for 2013.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)