Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
Metaps, a Japanese company that provides an advertising and promotions platform for Android, has raised a 1 billion yen (approximately $11 million) round of Series B funding that will help accelerate its expansion across Asia and beyond. The investment is led by Fidelity Growth Partners Japan, and includes participation from existing backers.
The platform adopts a similar overall approach to US-based rewards-based platform Kiip — which itself recently came to Asia — it that it incentivizes activity on mobile. Apps that integrate the Metaps API, can be configured to ask users to carry out a specific action — for example install an app, or invite a friend — for which they are rewarded with virtual currency which can be spent in the app.
Kiip, by contrast, offers ‘real-world’ rewards and it maintains a consumer presence with an app that end users can download to keep track of their rewards.
Riding high on the crest of the Android wave in Asia — where the Google-owned operating system is leading the rapid growth of smartphone sales and shipments — Tokyo-based Metaps says that apps using its network have hit a cumulative 62 million downloads. That number, it says, makes it the largest service of its kind in Asia, having grown more than 175 times over the past year.
More specifically, Metaps says that Korea and Taiwan are fueling particularly promising growth, while, in terms of genres, games are the type of apps that are seeing the “greatest” results for its business.
The company says that this round of funding — which takes it to a total of $16.5 million in investment money to date — will be used to grow its presence in Asia. However, beyond that, Metaps is aiming to become the world’s largest Android monetization platform by the end of the year.
In addition to its head office in Tokyo, the company has an on-the-ground presence in Singapore, Hong Kong and San Jose. Its partners include Zynga, games firm CyberAgent in Japan, Chinese search giant Baidu and Korean content firm NHN.
Metaps is one of a number of promising mobile loyalty-cum-incentivization platforms in Asia. Others include Singapore-based Gimme, which raised $520,000 in seeding funding last year.
Headline image via 401kcalculator, other via Metaps
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