Mumbai- and Singapore-based Maiden Marketing Pte Ltd, owner of Pokkt.com, an alternative monetisation platform for app developers and publishers, has secured $2.5 million in a Series A round of funding from Singapore-based VC firms Jafco Asia and SingTel Innov8, with participations from existing investors, including Jungle Ventures and K Ganesh, a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Portea Medical.
As part of the deal, Supriya Singh from Jafco Asia will join Pokkt's board.
"With this round of funding, we want to scale up the business, expand to more than 5,000 developers globally and launch more products to help developers get their apps discovered and monetised," said Rohit Sharma, founder and CEO of Pokkt. "The partnerships with Jafco and SingTel will also help us expand our operations into Indonesia and Thailand."
In October last year, Pokkt had raised $500,000 in seed funding from a few investors, including Jungle Ventures, and former Indiagames COO Samir Bangara.
Pokkt was founded in July 2012 by Sharma, former CEO (digital business) of Reliance ADA, along with Vaibhav Odhekar and Sharad Ingule. An MBA from Lancaster University in the UK, Sharma had earlier also founded Wopshop, an e-com venture for toys. This stopped operations some time ago. In the past, he was involved with creation of Zapak.com and is also a founding member of Indiatimes.com.
His partner Odekar holds an MBA from IIM Lucknow, and previously worked at ICICI Bank and Zapak. Ingule is a computer engineer, who also holds an MBA degree from Mumbai University. In the past, he had worked at Moneycontrol.com, Bigadda.com and Sony Online.
Pokkt was part of the inaugural batch of GSF Accelerator.
Pokkt (pronounced as pocket) is basically an additional way for app developers and publishers to make money. It provides software development kits (SDKs) to them to solve the challenges of discovery and monetisation. The SDKs are available on Android, iOS and Windows platforms.
For consumers, who want to purchase digital content on web or mobile, Pokkt provides an opportunity to do it for free by offering multiple alternative payment tools like watching videos, subscribing to services, installing applications and participation in surveys.
For advertisers, Pokkt provides multiple engagement tools to reach out to millions of active users both on web and mobile. The firm charges a fee from these advertisers, which is its main source of revenue.
The startup recently launched a new B2C platform, called Pocket Money, which helps app developers acquire customers in a targeted way. "Pocket Money is basically a reward-based ad platform, where users can consume any advertising, and in return, they get some rewards," said Sharma.
Pokkt claims that it sees 8,000-10,000 transactions per day across all its platforms. According to Sharma, Pokkt is currently working with more than 15 big publishers and developers in the country.
Talking about the investments, Supriya Singh said, "The emerging markets in Southeast Asia are at the cusp of an explosion in mobile advertising. Pokkt serves a pressing need for the ecosystem and is well-positioned to capture the growing mobile advertising dollars."
According to Edgar Hardless, CEO, SingTel Innov8, Pokkt is solving a genuine pain point for app developers and publishers. "The platform also provides mobile app users more flexibility over how they consume digital contents/apps and advertisers a new marketing channel, creating a winning solution for all stakeholders," he added.
"The Pokkt team has the product set and traction to be a regional category leader in the mobile advertising space," said Amit Anand, managing partner, Jungle Ventures.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)