China’s fast-growth unicorn APUS reveals its revenue for the first time
The APUS Group, which was in the news last year for launching a $45-million investment fund for early-stage startups in India, recently revealed its revenue for the first time. The company, which is on its path to be China’s fastest growing unicorn,reached $15 million in revenue in June 2016. APUS is a leading Android app developer with over 920 million users worldwide.Starting its monetization strategy in January 2016 the company aims to surpass $70 million in its first year of revenue.
APUS has a strong user base in India, South East Asia, South America, Africa and Russia, which accounts to over 95percent of its user base outside of China. According to the 2015 APUS Global User Report, APUS witnessed a 250-percent increase in users between January and December 2015. By the end of 2017, APUS aims to have 1.5 billion users on its apps across the world.
Talking about the growth trajectory, company founder and CEO Li Tao attributes the success to three factors:
Firstly we understand the trend and grab the opportunity. APUS was founded in June 2014, when I forseen it would be a smartphone usage surge in developing countries.
Secondly, we focus on acquiring new smartphone users rather than educating old smartphone users, as the latter usually take longer time to get familiar with our user system.
Thirdly, our product fully meets the requirements of users who often find their Android smartphone complicated to use, or running slowly after a period of use. APUS user system is more simpler and easier, moreover, it brings particularly to new smartphone users a memorable user experience, which I nickname it as 'sweetness'.
Li believes that these three factors bring APUS massive users, which translates to huge traffic. This in the turn triggered the launch of monetization strategy. Li shared that APUS User System is a suite of products, which includes search, messenger center, booster, browser and APUS know. The all-in service that it provides to users means it has highly sickness, which is important for it acting as a gateway (or portal) of traffic. Li added,
From my point of view, there are three main internet business models: traffic portal business model, content operation models and business operation model. Among, the traffic portal is the most important as it decides the other two models. APUS positions itself as a traffic portal from the very beginning when designing its ecosystem. It is the above reasons that we have made the current achievement.
At present, the company is valued at $1.5 billion and has received $116 million in two rounds of investments. The names of investors include Chengwei Capital, SIG,Qiming Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Northern Light Venture Capital.
In the first stage in its revenue strategy, APUS partnered globally with Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, Twitter and Google to drive engagement and monetization on its platform. Working with Huawei and Meizu in China, Apus has partnered with unicorns including InMobi, Ola and Flipkart In India, and Yandex in Russia.
Owing to its huge user base, APUS was one of 15 developers to get access to utilise Facebook’s new Account Kit and Advertising Network, ahead of Facebook F8. Further,this has generated 400% increase in logins via Facebook.