Android app developer APUS Group, which has over 920m users worldwide, has publicly disclosed its revenues for the first time. The company - which was valued at $1bn in just seven months, reached $15m in revenues in June. APUS forecasts its first year revenue will surpass $70m after starting its monetization strategy in January 2016.
APUS was founded by former Qihoo 360 vice president, Tao Li in June 2014, with a mission to make Android easier to use and improve performance for low-to-mid-end devices. It’s first product, APUS Launcher, was initially conceived as a way of bringing iOS like simplicity to Android. In its first week, APUS saw 1m downloads. In its second, it had grown to 20m.
Since then, Apus has grown to be one of the biggest Android developers in the world, delivering a range of Android apps that help to improve the overall usability, performance and battery life of devices. It’s now the most-used third-party launcher in the world.
For the first stage of its revenue strategy, APUS partnered globally with Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, Twitter and Google to drive engagement and monetization of its platform. In China, the company is working with Huawei and Meizu. In India, it has partnered with InMobi, Ola cabs and Flipkart, whilst in Russia, it has partnered with Yandex.
Due to its large user base, APUS was one of 15 developers to get access to Facebook’s new Account Kit and Advertising Network, ahead of Facebook F8. This generated a 400 per cent increase in logins via Facebook, whilst Audience Network tripled the eCPM of Facebook ads compared to other ad networks.
Over 95 per cent of APUS users are situated outside of China, with strong growth from India, South-east Asia, South America, Africa and Russia. According to the 2015 APUS Global User Report, APUS saw a 250 per cent increase in users between January and December 2015. By the end of 2017, the company aims to have 1.5bn users of its apps across the world.
APUS currently has a $1.5bn valuation, and has received two rounds of investment totalling $116m million. Investors include Chengwei Capital, SIG, Qiming Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Northern Light Venture Capital. In December 2015, APUS launched a US$45 million investment fund in India.
Speaking at an event to celebrate the company’s second anniversary in Beijing recently, founder and CEO Tao Li said: “The revenue only accounts for one third of the total APUS user base, so there is plenty of room for growth. In addition to being widely used in saturated smartphone markets, APUS is the gateway for hundreds of millions of people in developing countries to get online, find apps and have their first smartphone experience. Our plans for the future will see us delivering the services and ecosystem that people in developing countries need. We see large growth opportunities for services in these markets. Per annum, we expect our revenue to grow by 100 per cent until 2019.”