PacketZoom, the San Mateo-based company that optimizes app performance on Wi-Fi and cell phone networks, announced last week that it had raised $5 million in Series A funding. The funding is intended to scale the development and optimization of the company’s Application Performance Management and Optimization (APMO) platform. Baseline Ventures led the round of funding, and First Round Capital, Tandem Capital and Arafura Ventures all were additional participants.
“Today’s announcement is a testament to PacketZoom’s success,” said Shlomi Gian, PacketZoom’s CEO. “Poor network quality causes mobile app publishers operational challenges and costs them millions in lost monetization opportunities. PacketZoom’s platform is the only solution that’s been designed from the ground up to address these issues. Our platform provides mobile app developers with real-time insights, control and optimization capabilities without needing to make any code changes.”
The funding comes on the back of the launch of Mobile IQ, a new mobile APM tool, which is bundled with PacketZoom Mobile Expresslane in a single SDK to create what PacketZoom describe as “the industry’s first complete Mobile APMO (Application Performance Management and Optimization) platform”. Mobile IQ gives developers and engineers the opportunity to analyze app performance and troubleshoot problems, whereas Mobile Expresslane provides optimization technology intending to getsrid of performance roadblocks like speed network errors, and speed up download contents by 2-3 times. PacketZoom also intends to reduce the costs of infrastructure and CDN for its users.
According to PacketZoom, over 60% of users give up on an app following just four seconds of delay. Slow downloads can be caused by several factors, including:
- Protocol slow starts: legacy protocols do not have knowledge of the available bandwidth in a network, so begin conservatively. They only increase the sending rate after getting confirmation that data has been received. This process can be inefficient and slow.
PacketZoom’s technology is located on the device and already knows the maximum bandwidth available. It starts sending at the optimal rate, which is up to 3x faster than average.
- Packetloss, for which there are usually two reasons:(a) network congestion – when the server sends out more data than the network is capable of handling; and (b) environmental interferences – legacy protocols always assume that packetloss is a result of congestion, and the server accordingly reduces the sending rate; but often by too much, thus further slowing downloads.
PacketZoom aims to identify the cause behind packetloss. It doesn’t reduce the sending rate when packets are lost, but instead re-sends the lost packets and therefore maintains a robust download speed.
- Disconnects – mobile devices regularly change IP addresses, often as a result of switching between dead zones or networks. TCP gets disoriented and continues to send data to the old IP address. Usually after a time-out, typically around 50 seconds, the transfer fails and the connection happens using the new IP address.
PacketZoom doesn’t rely on the IP address to identify a device, so such changes do not affect the session. Communication resumes as soon as the device reconnects to the network irrelevant of the device’s IP address. Ensuring network continuity leads to a faster mobile experience.
“PacketZoom has proven to be an innovator in mobile app performance, a segment where we have not seen much innovation in years,” said Steve Anderson, founder of Baseline Ventures. “The company has demonstrated consistent growth and positioned itself as a market leader in mobile app networking.”
This latest round of investment brings the total raised to over $9M, according to Crunchbase. The funding will be used to support Packetzoom’s business expansion in the world’s fastest growing mobile markets, adding presence in Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America to its already existing operations in China. The funding will also allow PacketZoom to fill positions in its executive team.
The company was founded in 2013 and released the product in 2016. Their initial round of seed funding came in 2015 before securing the Series A they announced last week. Thus far, the company has 68 paying customers, including Glu Mobile, East Side Games and Sephora. The funding round comes only a week after the news that Cloudfare acquired Neumob, a leading rival to PacketZoom.