Fighting the Internet’s Bad Guys: Why We Invested in AppDetex
In the 10 years since the first iPhone was released, the number of applications in the Apple mobile app store has swelled to over 2 million. There are another 2.2 million apps on the Google Play store. There have been 268 billion total mobile app downloads, which have generated over $77B in mobile commerce every year. Consumers’ time spent in mobile apps has increased 114 percent since 2014.
Unfortunately, while our connected devices provide the convenience of things like mobile banking, entertainment, and social networking, the enormous size of the mobile economy also attracts the bad guys.
The bad guys use a variety of tricks to entice users to download fake and fraudulent versions of some of the most popular apps in order to siphon off some of the dollars that accompany downloads, usage, and transactions.
Earlier this year, we met a Boise-based software company called AppDetex. It was founded by good guys Faisal Shah and Chris Bura who had previously built and sold a software company to protect brands from nefarious online behavior. AppDetex initially focused on identifying and eliminating fraudulent listings in mobile app stores.
Now, the company’s product suite extends to another important area of online brand management: web domains. With over 300 million registered domains, many global companies manage large portfolios of domains, including various extensions and spelling derivatives (e.g. Facebook.org), in order to keep them out of the hands of the bad guys. AppDetex built a “CRM for domain management” to help brands protect and manage these essential digital assets.
The AppDetex product suite also helps brands identify and eliminate fake and counterfeit goods listed for sale by the bad guys across e-commerce platforms. With e-commerce approaching $500B in annual transaction volume, fake goods have moved from the street corner vendor to the Internet. AppDetex helps kick them back to the curb.
We were pleased to join the company’s Series A round, led by the good guys at EPIC Ventures.
We continue to seek investments in software companies that help to expand the ecosystem for cloud computing, e-commerce, and mobile app development. Our investments in Apptentive and AppDetex are borne from this investment thesis.