AppOnboard raises $15 million to launch mobile playable demo ads

AppOnboard, the mobile tech company for app developers, has raised $15 million to create “full-fidelity” mobile playable demos as well as games in an effort to boost app downloads. The demos are designed to let people experience an app before committing to download it.
To date, the company raised $20 million. The latest investment round was led by Korea Investment Partners, Mirae Asset Management, Mantaray, MTG, and Runa Capital with participation from existing investors London Venture Partners, Troy Capital Partners, and Ophir Capital Group.
For Jonathan Zweig, ex-cofounder of AdColony and now CEO of AppOnBoard, the full-fidelity demos will be eliminating bad in-app advertising experiences.

“We’re creating a new category called demos,” he told GamesBeat. “The notion of a playable ad was more like a mini game. We are creating something more that changes the way mobile users discover content.”

The idea for AppOnBoard came to Zweig when watching his niece skip apps. The company was launched in collaboration with partner Adam Piechowicz. Together, they spent two years developing the technology for the demos.
Full-fidelity ads are essentially based on a mini version of a game engine that recreates the app experience inside another app.
For developers and consumers, full-fidelity ads open the door to a more immersive first impression of an app. According to Localytics, 70% of app users may open a downloaded app once and never return to it. If consumers are able to test the full app, they may be more enticed to download it. Similarly, those who do not enjoy an app won’t waste a download.

“With the next wave of mobile gaming producing much more immersive content and larger file sizes, we believe AppOnboard’s technology will help developers in a multitude of ways,” added Sang-Ho Park, executive director of Korea Investment Partners, in a statement. “AppOnboard has developed a technology and platform that allows for quick, intuitive creation of app demos that look identical to the game but at a fraction of the size. We believe this technology will be a huge tool for developers.”

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