Nokia Buys Mobile Analytics Startup Motally

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Nokia (s nok) today announced the purchase of Motally, Inc., a San Francisco, Calif.-based mobile-analytics company with eight employees, for an undisclosed amount. Motally’s current tracking service, which supports iOS (s aapl), Android (s goog), BlackBerry (s rimm) and web applications, will be adapted for Qt, Symbian, Meego and Java (s orcl) applications, although Nokia says current Motally customers and platforms will continue to be served.

The Motally purchase is a positive step for Nokia to make its Ovi application store more attractive to developers. A recent survey shows that 42 percent of third party developers creating software for Nokia devices rate the Ovi Store as below average when compared to competing mobile app stores. Better analytics could quickly change these kinds of sentiments about Ovi, given that such data helps identify user demographics, application performance and time spent within an app or a section of an app. Armed with this information, developers can retool their mobile software to boost revenues and target appropriate audiences.

While the terms of the Motally sale aren’t available, there is a prior Nokia tie-in, which could help explain why Motally was chosen as an acquisition: Motally is backed by BlueRun Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund that formed in 1998 as Nokia Venture Partners and became BlueRun in 2005. Additionally, BlueRun co-founder and current partner, John Malloy, held a prior management position at Nokia.

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3 Comments

Ed McLaughlin

Nokia’s acquisition makes a lot of sense. Device makers need to prove why developers and publishers should use their devices. What are users actually doing with the phone? Are they using the features and functionality, or are they just downloading them? A good analytics package will provide these answers – and a lot more.

Shouldn’t other manufacturers do the same thing? If mobile is about connecting more deeply with consumers, wouldn’t you want the tools to ensure that you’re actually doing just that?

Seems to me that we need less mobile hype and a lot more proof. And Nokia took a big step in this direction. Smart move.

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