App analytics and advertising firm Flurry enjoyed a big year in 2012, getting cashflow positive for the first time and doubling the number of applications that use its tools to 250,000. But 2013 could be even bigger, with an IPO potentially in the works.
That’s why the San Francisco firm is now raising a hefty $25 million Series D round led by new investor Crosslink Capital, a crossover fund that has helped companies like Pandora and Ancestry.com go public. Crosslink mixes venture investing and hedge investing after a company goes public.
The new round, which brings Flurry’s total to $51.6 million, includes participation from existing investors Menlo Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, InterWest Partners, Union Square Ventures, First Round Capital and Draper Richards.
Simon Khalaf, Flurry’s president and CEO, told me the money will help the company expand internationally into markets like South Korea, Japan and Latin America next year. And it will help the company boost its newest products including Flurry AppSpot, an advertising platform for publishers, and Flurry Ad Analytics, which helps advertisers measure the effectiveness of their ads. Flurry has also gotten into the business of helping developer build apps with its purchase of Trestle in July. And if all goes well, Flurry could be looking at a public offering by the second half of 2013, he said.
Khalaf said Flurry, which still has $9 million from its previous round, is now on an annual revenue run rate of $80-100 million a year and became cash-flow positive in March. The company now tracks 32 billion data points a day on 250 million devices and boast 80,000 customers.
Khalaf said, unlike social, mobile is proving to be a real market. And Flurry is 100 percent mobile, unlike companies such as Zynga or Facebook, which have struggled since going public.
“Social is a feature but mobile is a market,” said Khalaf. “Mobile is growing so fast, disrupting industries. You have computing, content and broadband revolutions meeting and the total addressable market is in the hundreds of millions to billions.”
While mobile continues to experience a monetization gap compared to online advertising, Khalaf expects that will narrow over time as advertisers chase users to mobile devices, just like they did with the desktop internet. Flurry, he believes, can help with the monetization push by developers and publishers with its AppCircle ad network, which has grown by 300 percent this year compared to last year. With Flurry’s vault of big data, the company could also be sitting on even more lucrative businesses in the future, said Khalaf.
If Flurry goes the IPO route, it will follow in the footsteps of Millennial Media, which went public at $13 a share in March and doubled before settling back down around its original price. And it may show that investors are ready to start valuing mobile companies and are optimistic about the opportunities in mobile advertising and monetization. But mobile advertising continues to ramp up slowly and if the monetization gap persists, it could slow down Flurry’s prospects.