PacketZoom, a startup that helps app developers speed up and optimize app delivery on mobile devices, announced a $5M Series A today.
The round was led by Baseline Ventures with participation from First Round Capital, Tandem Capital and Arafura Ventures. Today’s investment brings the total raised to over $9M, according to Crunchbase.
The company combines a content delivery network (CDN) to speed up performance with an application performance management tool to identify performance issues in a single package. Instead of making content faster from a web delivery standpoint, it’s finding ways to speed up app performance on your mobile device. In fact, research has shown that users have very little patience when it comes to apps that are buggy or have performance issues.
Unlike a Web CDN, which cannot see what’s happening on end user devices, PacketZoom has insight into activity on the device and inside the cellular networks, company CEO Shlomi Gian explained. He says that they offer an SDK for free to developers, which gives developers analytics about the app along with network-related performance issue alerts. This is information that also helps PacketZoom understand the vagaries of the device/network connection and the kinds of problems that occur as the app interacts with the network.
The company has a second product, Mobile Expresslane from which it earns revenue. It promises to optimize the app delivery and downloads content 2-3 times faster, while reducing network errors. Developers pay-per-volume pricing for this product.
One way they do this, Gian says, is by eliminating a lot of the errors related to network timeouts. The TCP network protocol was designed to slow down traffic when it saw congestion on the network, a perfectly logical approach when it was created, but not so much in a mobile context. “On wireless, you always lose packets, so we let the server know it didn’t receive a packet and it will do it on the next round,” Gian explained.
He says this helps eliminate a lot of the network errors related to timeouts, which can happen frequently on mobile as you switch from WiFi to cellular or move between mobile networks.
The company started in 2013 and it took several years to build the product, which was released in 2016. They got their seed round in 2015 before securing the Series A they are announcing today.
In the 18 months since they launched the first product, the company has 68 paying customers including Sephora, Glu Mobile and East Side Games.
The funding round comes on the heels of Cloudflare buying Neumob, one of PacketZoom’s competitors earlier this month.
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