BGF Ventures backs Tapdaq

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BGF Ventures has invested in Tapdaq, the In-App Advertising Platform for Mobile Developers cofounded by UK entrepreneurs Ted Nash (24), Dom Bracher (23) and Nick Reffitt (26). BGF Ventures joined Balderton Capital, Spring Partners and Open Ocean Capital in a $6.5m funding round.

Tapdaq enables mobile developers to grow and retain users through cross-promotion and a transparent install exchange between other developers. This helps to bridge the gap between smaller app developers and established firms.

Apple’s App Store and Google Play host more than 3.1m apps between them – this means it’s impossible for the majority of apps to be discovered without investing significant advertising budgets. Tapdaq’s solution levels the playing field in this crowded market. Developers browse the platform and select the apps they want to cross-promote with based on user interest and behaviour, increasing discoverability and installs by relevant users.

Tapdaq CEO, Ted Nash – named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2015 – has been creating online companies from the age of 12 years-old and was the first teenager in the world to achieve 1m App Store downloads prior to cofounding the company. He said:

“For an app to succeed today, developers need to be either very wealthy or incredibly lucky. This is because the current app ecosystem is not designed to allow the most original or innovative content to be discovered. Whilst there will always be a market for paid user acquisition, it’s important to invent and adopt new routes in order to be found by potential users. We help developers acquire new users without the need to spend cash, avoiding the cost-per-install (CPI) battle which has held the majority of developers back from making an impact.

“As we continue to attract quality developers to the platform across a variety of markets, more and more installs are being generated and shared. With this incredible team of investors backing us, we can’t wait to expand our global reach and work hard to become the default platform for developers to fully manage their inventory.”

BGF Ventures’ Partner, Harry Briggs joins the Tapdaq board as part of the deal. He commented: “Ted Nash and the Tapdaq team have the global ambition we look for in entrepreneurs – already they are winning major clients across the globe and making mega-funded Silicon Valley competitors sit up and take notice.

“As mobile apps eat the worlds of software, entertainment and commerce, we believe Tapdaq could help millions of businesses to acquire new customers. We couldn’t be more excited to be joining the journey.”

General Partner of Balderton Capital, Suranga Chandratillake, said: “In a market that attracts as much attention as mobile development, it’s hard to be unique: but that is precisely what Tapdaq has achieved. Its suite of services allows the mid- and long-tail of mobile software developers to compete effectively with the big guys.

“We’ve been amazed by the progress Ted and the rest of the team have achieved in the short while since we invested, and we look forward to working together on the next chapter.”

Tapdaq’s Chairman, Russell Buckley who is a Partner at Spring Partners said: “Tapdaq is solving a key ongoing issue for both app developers and consumers in the app store – discovery. We started to address this in the early days of AdMob, so it’s been great to take the journey to the next level with this phenomenal team.”

Tapdaq was founded in late 2012 when Nash and school friend Dom Bracher (CMO) – who, aged 18 years-old, founded an app marketing agency – teamed up with Nick Reffitt (CTO). Having achieved success early on in the App Store, each found that as the mobile market began to mature, generating traction became progressively more difficult. Despite establishing consumer awareness, it was gaining traction that had longevity which proved difficult without significant investment into CPI-based advertising. Along with the many similar complaints voiced by other developers, these experiences inspired the Tapdaq team to build their own solution.

In September 2014, the company closed its seed funding round which was led by Balderton Capital and Open Ocean Capital for $1.4m.