A Q&A with Applicasa co-founder and COO Tzvi Kopetz. The Tel Aviv–based company was founded in the Summer of 2011 and closed a $1 million Seed funding round in mid-January from the Shaked family, the founders of real-time casino gaming company 888.com.
SUB: Please describe Applicasa and your value proposition.
Kopetz: Applicasa is a mobile game management platform that helps mobile game developers manage their game economy through user segmentation and event-based promotions as part of a complete backend solution.
SUB: Who are your target markets and users?
Kopetz: Our target market is mobile game app publishers and studios.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Kopetz: Our main competition would be companies like Swrve or Playhaven.
SUB: What differentiates Applicasa from the competition?
Kopetz: While they offer user-segmentation and promotions we offer, in addition, the ability to create a dynamic virtual store or a backend solution.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Kopetz: The company was founded in July 2011, offering backend-as-a-service for mobile applications. In October of last year, we expanded our service and shifted our focus to mobile games specifically.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for Applicasa? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Kopetz: Back in 2011, we realized that many app developers lack the capabilities to develop a server side for their apps. This led us to create our server-side platform for mobile apps. Later on we found out that the definition of a backend for mobile apps is too broad and we need to focus on a certain type of app. We decided to focus on games for its majority in the app stores and for understanding that game developers don’t have the tools to manage their game economy.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story behind it?
Kopetz: It’s actually pretty funny, the two of us, me and Lior [co-founder and CEO Lior Malenboim], already had the business plan set up and all the logistics worked out, but still couldn’t figure out what to call the thing. So the two of us were sitting in Lior’s living room, trying to come up with a name for the company. We first came up with the concept and slogan—saying that our service basically serves as a home for apps. Eventually, Yael, Lior’s wife, had the idea to combine the word Application and Casa—home in Spanish—and came up with the name Applicasa.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Kopetz: Because our service was new to the market, we had to educate the potential customers to use such a service. Now that tools and platforms are relatively popular, it’s easy for us to ‘convince’ customers to use our platform.
SUB: You just raised $1 million in Seed funding. What are your plans for the new funds?
Kopetz: Expanding. As we continue to grow our customer base, so will our company, and this Seed funding will prove to be the catalyst for that expansion.
SUB: Why was this a particularly good time to raise outside capital?
Kopetz: Because of our shift in focus, it was really helpful to have the cushion to be able to make a smooth transition without having to worry about any financial hiccups along the way.
SUB: How does the company generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Kopetz: Our company generates revenue for our service by charging customers a monthly payment that is based on an app’s number of monthly active users—the more users the higher the cost.
SUB: What are your goals for Applicasa over the next year or so?
Kopetz: Once again I’d have to say expansion. We are really working hard on offering our service to as many game publishers as possible, and as more-and-more developers become aware of the need for our service, we will obviously need to grow to accommodate the rising demand.
Applicasa – www.applicasa.com