A variety of analytics tool providers launched on Facebook’s platform in the early days of 2007 and 2008, but most of them have since moved elsewhere. Kontagent, meanwhile, has stayed put, quietly building its product and its client list, and today the San Francisco-based company is sharing a couple big news items.
One is that it is is officially releasing the 1.5 version of its software — it has been testing the version for the past few months, and says it has seen a big uptick in new clients as a result. Another item is that the company is currently tracking a total of 50 million monthly active users across all of its clients. And, it is disclosing funding information for the first time: it has raised a total of $1.25 million from a group of angel and seed-stage investors. You can find the full lists of clients and investors, below.
Here’s a little more on Kontagent’s market position now. The 10-person company, led by co-founders and serial entrepreneurs Albert Lai and Jeffery Tseng, has spent the last year incorporating “best practices” in social game metrics measurement. It started out providing granular ways of measuring the effectiveness of viral channels — invites, friend requests, etc. — and types of users based on age, location and gender. It has expanded features in the past 12 months to include things like tracking revenue per user during the entire time they use an app, the effectiveness of traffic sources (like Facebook ad campaigns) and custom goals and charts for seeing how particular changes affect particular types of users.
Here’s the list of the most major new features, from Lai:
– Custom Charts Creation
– Improved Ad Traffic and Traffic Source Tracking
– Improved Viral A/B Testing Platform
– Retention Analysis & Stickiness Tracking
– Deep Virtual Currency Transactions and Revenue Analysis
– Full Data Export Capability
– Improve On-boarding and Instrumentation
– Robust User Class Based Access Controls
Analytics tools typically work by tracking users’ browser cookies or by providing general frameworks that provide a view basic tools for things like the amount of time users spend on the app. Kontagent’s software has developers send it personal data they get from Facebook about users, including users’ unique Facebook IDs. The company anonymizes this information, retaining demographic data for ongoing use. So one person might only spend a few bucks in an app — or no money at all — but invite a lot of friends. Lai tells us that despite its ability get this much detail on individuals, it anonymizes all data in a way that complies with Facebook’s terms of service prohibiting platform companies from storing and repurposing profile information.
The result of Kontagent’s data approach is that it can answer important developer questions like “how much money can I make from 18 to 25 year old males in California when friends invite them to play my mafia role-playing game.” The features get about as granular as many developers will want. For example, developers can compare the effect of an invite that went out yesterday versus one that went out a month ago to see which was more effective in the game overall. The company has a live demo available here.
When we covered the company in 2008, we compared it to machine tools that allowed manufacturers to build massive factories during the industrial revolution and beyond. The concept is that firms in an industry need to focus their energies on building their core products, and use third parties to help them build the many machines they need to create those products. Kontagent’s analytics service takes this role for many social game developers today, in that it allows them to focus on building applications rather than having to also focus on building advanced measurement tools.
One catch here is that many of the top game developers have built in-house tools in the past couple years, even as Kontagent has grown. Lai explains that a few things are happening in its favor. The most major one is what you’d expect, that Kontagent’s focus on tools means that its service is constantly improving, even as all developers have to focus on the apps themselves. This specialization means that Kontagent’s product can potentially improve versus in-house options over time, just as machine tools companies did in the last centuries, and as analytics tools have done on the wider web in the last couple decades.
While most of Kontagent’s clients have mid-sized social games, he says he has heard repeatedly that his company is becoming increasingly competitive with what big developers are doing in-house, and he tells us to expect some more partnership announcements in the coming weeks.
Many leading developers consider data analysis for game design, growth and monetization as something they need to keep in-house. They view their knowledge and abilities in this area to be a key part of what makes their companies valuable. Kontagent is doing well in the ecosystem so far, and it is looking especially ambitious with this string of announcements, so we’ll be watching its market position closely.
And now for some more details on pricing, investors and clients.
Pricing, as you’d expect is basically an enterprise model, with a basic free service for available for some features and expensive high-end features like dedicated servers and support staff. Take a look at the list below for all the details, or check it out here.
- Naval Ravikant, The Hit Forge
- Extreme Venture Partners
- Facebook’s fbFund, which put $250,000 into the company (the highest level of funding it has provided to date)
- Jameson Hsu, the co-founder of Mochi Media (which was reqcently acquired by Shanda Games)
- James Hong, co-founder of HotOrNot
- Benjamin Sun, co-founder of CommunityConnect
- Auren Hoffman, founder of RapLeaf;
- Greg Thomson, founder of TallTreeGames and previously creator of YoVille (acquired by Zynga)
- Mike Sego, the current Chief Product Officer at Gaia and creator of (Fluff)Friends (acquired by SGN)
- Conduit Labs
- Gaia Online
- PopCap Games
- Sandlot Games
Also, here’s a full presentation from the company on its features: