In late October, App Annie opened two European offices, including one in Paris. This adventure began five years ago in Beijing, with a French developer.

With over 500,000 users and presence in 9 countries, App Annie is a global leader in analytics for mobile applications. For the uninitiated, audience analysis is a key marketing tool for the web sector that allows developers and entrepreneurs to better understand their target audience and their competitive environment, and thus refine their product strategy. This fundamental tool did not exist when mobile applications boomed, motivating the creation of App Annie in March 2010 in Beijing by French entrepreneur Bertrand Schmitt and Norwegian Bjorn Stabell. “At the time, the two founders were moving into business apps. And they realized that there was no information on the app store market: what works (or not), monetization, audience profiles… So they founded App Annie to fill that void,” said Bertrand Salord, European marketing director.

A 360-degree vision of the mobile app market

Just over two years later, the company set up its headquarters in San Francisco, in proximity to Silicon Valley, and customers flocked to them. The key to their success? A platform (or dashboard) customized for every app vendor, with free and paid offers, showing performance of the vendor’s product in real time: downloads, revenues from app stores, user base and usage. “Our platform makes it very easy to know if the application is performing well, and who uses it,” explained Bertrand Salord. “We are the only players offering a 360-degree vision of the market for mobile applications on the various app stores.” The result? Their free offer now boasts half a million users, with 875,000 apps permanently connected, and the company has over 400 employees worldwide.

A Paris office to capture the French market

After four rounds of funding totaling $94 million* and the acquisition of two key companies in the sector (Distimo and Mobidia), App Annie expanded into Europe, opening new offices in Berlin and Paris at the end of October. This homecoming to France makes perfect sense: “We already have several French teams located in London and the USA.” But there is another major reason: “In France, the app market is starting to mature. They are catching up with North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Many traditional businesses, major accounts, come to us to test the market and understand the opportunities. We also work with many game developers.” Currently recruiting six staff members (in addition to three current employees), the Paris office will serve as a launching pad for markets in southern Europe. “These are other growing markets,” said Bertrand Salord. “And even if the office is new and remains small, we have the resources to grow.” Developers, take notice!

Originally published in Succeed in Paris Region

Author: Jerome Pichon

* Update: App Annie just raised $63 million in a Series E round of financing. Read more on Tech Crunch.