Power to the publishers

Year of investment
1.2 bn
Views during first three months

Sometimes, we come across a founder where we just feel: Wow! Even more rarely, that founder is running a seed-stage startup in a space where the founder has relevant experience and network. Add a global mindset, a likable personality, a fearless can-do attitude and great communication and recruitment skills — et voilà! Let us present Colin Treseler at AppAction.

Now, combine Colin with a massive market, a working product, a clear business model and early traction to check most of the boxes on our investment wish-list.

How does it work?

AppAction explained

AppAction is a social audience management platform, helping brands and publishers to grow and monetize their audiences in social media. The first product is a post-sharing and follower analytics tool for Instagram. So far, Instagram has been a very closed network which has made it harder for brands and publishers to analyze and grow their audiences on Instagram than on many other platforms.

For example, if you share an Instagram post on Facebook or Twitter, a mobile user following the link will be sent to the Instagram mobile website, asked to log in. Naturally, most users are lost here, and you lose an opportunity to convert the user to a new follower. A much better user experience would be a deep link, opening the Instagram app (where the user is already logged in), taking the user to the correct post immediately, minimizing the threshold for the user to engage with your content.

An example of deep linking with AppAction from Twitter to Instagram.

The user is sent from Facebook/Twitter via AppAction’s domain where the user seamlessly is redirected to the Instagram app, via a deep link to the correct post. Before the user is redirected, some data is collected (e.g. what link the user tapped) and a cookie is set, allowing AppAction to provide useful insights to the publisher, helping them grow their Instagram account and retarget users based on interests.

During the last few months, AppAction has had more than a billion views and tens of millions of clicks on their shared posts, working with some major sports and fashion brands on Facebook and Twitter.

That sounds like a niche product

Next steps

This product is by no means the end goal for AppAction. It’s a first step into a huge market, establishing a foothold in the otherwise stormy adtech and social media landscape. Over the course of the next twelve months, Colin and the team will continue to grow and extend the existing product to create a more complete social audience management platform.

Update May 13, 2017: AppAction has now pivoted to Told. They’re still in the social media space but focusing on video, augmenting clipping and sharing. Read more on their website. In cases like these, we’re very happy that we invested in the team rather than the product and we‘re excited to see what Colin and the team can achieve in the consumer video space.