App developers looking for cash to spend on marketing generally have to turn to venture capitalists as banks don’t tend to want to lend to risky propositions like mobile software companies. Aprenita is a new company that offers an alternative – loans based on algorithms that predict an app’s future success.
Founders Mark Loranger and Sergei Kovalenko say that they developed the idea for Aprenita as they found themselves privately lending money to app developers to fund marketing efforts. They wondered if there was a way to do this at scale, and began testing the service in August 2015.
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Developers who apply for a loan have to grant Aprenita access to data about their business (such as user numbers and cashflow) via online accounting software and popular online dashboard services like Flurry and Mixpanel, as well as their app store accounts. A decision comes back in 24 hours and funds are transferred within 48 hours.
Aprenita then continues to monitor the developer’s performance throughout the loan period, partly to keep an eye on whether there are any problems with repayments on the horizon, and partly to improve the predictive algorithms based on real-world data.
Aprenita is privately funded and typically lends $50,000 to $300,000 at interest rates of between six and 20 percent over six-to-18 months.
For developers who don’t want to hand over equity in their company or resort to credit cards, Aprenita offers an interesting alternative – as long as you don’t mind it keeping a close eye on your business and are confident that your marketing efforts will be effective.