Editor's Eye on Washington: Filling an Advertising Gap - AppTap Finds and Markets Apps
If you're like a lot of smart phone users, you've spent more hours than you care to disclose hunting for - let alone using - apps relevant to you. It can be a laborious, sometimes futile process, thumbing through the app store in search of something that's useful.
Matt Callaway has a solution for you. His startup, AppTap, headquartered in Reston, Va., provides app recommendations based on your Web browsing interests. The AppTap widget, when installed on a Web page, suggests apps to visitors based on several criteria, not least of which is the actual content on the page.
Checking out the sports page of a local newspaper? AppTap's recommendations would be specific to sports. Reading about Republican contenders in the upcoming election? The apps would cohere to that topic. Depending on the involvement of the Web publisher and how interactive - and tailored - they want to make the widget, AppTap can be quite complementary to a visitor's browsing habit.
AppTap operates on three basic levels: to help consumers find apps that match their Web browsing interests; to partner with Web publishers and boost user engagement on their site; and to work with app developers to give their products exposure. This last component is key, as it serves as AppTap's source of revenue while it also fills a gap in the advertising world.
Callaway, AppTap's CEO, told citybizlist that he's received reams of messages from app developers asking how they can become part of his platform because there's no other way to advertise their apps. A common refrain he hears is that developers have built a great product that's gotten solid reviews, but they're struggling to get it noticed. AppTap solves their dilemma by letting them buy ad space according to the placement on its sidebar.
Callaway helped launch the company last November, but already he's secured partnerships withSprint, Droidforums.net, and others, and said that next week he has another significant partnership to announce.
Prior to joining AppTap in 2009, Callaway led global product strategy and marketing for AOL's Winamp, and before that, he worked at Electronic Arts as director of Online Marketing and Community. He also worked as director of Marketing and Community for SegaSoft's HEAT.net online gaming network and was a co-creator of UGO, one of the first vertical advertising networks, later acquired by Hearst Interactive.
He was at MAVA's Capital Connection 11 last Friday and said several venture capital firms approached him as soon as he finished delivering his presentation.
AppTap's current investors include New Atlantic Ventures, CIT Gap Tech Fund, and LaunchBox Digital, all of which provide seed or early-stage funding.
Callaway said that he's looking to raise new capital to accelerate the traction he's building - including scaling distribution and closing deals more rapidly - and that his largest backer, New Atlantic, would be a participant in the round.
Citybizlist, or at least this editor, spends a lot of time on his smart phone and finds himself deleting half the apps that he's halfheartedly downloaded because he can't find useful ones through the stores ...
This is one person who'd appreciate smart, tailored recommendations based on something I do daily - use the Internet ...
Which is precisely the gap that Callaway and AppTap are looking to fill.
Originally posted at citybizlist.