Since its inception, the world wide web has opened up the internet to everyone. It makes it possible for all of us to connect, share, and communicate like never before in history. The introduction of the mobile smartphone made that even easier: suddenly, you can have the world’s information in your pocket and get instant access to friends, entertainment, and information.
But the smartphone and its ecosystem of apps also brought new challenges: mega platforms that own the device, the operating system, and even the flow of information. These platforms, which survive by owning the user’s time and eyeballs, started erecting walls to keep people inside and ward off competition.
Nine years ago, my co-founders and I built an app in this ecosystem full of barriers. We faced these challenges first hand. We struggled to get our app discovered, run basic campaigns and to build the pathways for sustainable business growth.
Branch is the solution to walled gardens. Branch links break down the walls and make the mobile ecosystem more open, connected, and relevant for the end user, regardless of the platform they are on.
Now, seven years later, Branch’s platform has been selected by over 100,000 mobile brands and we directly reach more than 3 billion users around the world, tens of billions of times per day. We have expanded our products to go beyond just mobile, connecting users from offline-to-online, desktop-to-app, TV-to-app, and beyond. We help our customers both create and measure those experiences.
Branch’s growth speaks to the continued fragmentation and shifts in the mobile ecosystem. Mobile device adoption is now over 90% of the global population, which means it’s universal. And COVID accelerated the adoption curve by years, turning mobile apps from a nice-to-have into table-stakes for pretty much every consumer brand on the planet — our digital lives are now lived in a world of mobile apps, not websites, and mobile is no longer just the realm of ad-supported gaming. In fact, we now spend more than a third of our waking hours on our phones, with 92.5% of that time spent in apps.
But the recent changes in the mobile ecosystem, from sweeping industry privacy changes like ATT, to the explosion of new device types, to new regulations around the world, mean that apps are struggling to survive. The mobile ecosystem is more siloed and fragmented than ever, despite the progress we’ve made. We have a lot more work to do.
Today, I am excited to announce that Branch has raised $300 million in new funding at a valuation of over $4 billion. This will allow us to double down on our product investments to solve these new ecosystem challenges, while also delivering on our commitment to the protection of user privacy:
* We are significantly expanding our industry-leading mobile linking platform (MLP), to help brands unlock new ways to grow through their owned and organic channels, and better integrate mobile as cross-device and offline-to-online crossover experiences become part of users’ everyday lives.
* We will continue transforming our mobile measurement partner (MMP) solutions for paid media, providing customers with state-of-the-art, privacy-first measurement to navigate mobile advertising in a post-IDFA world.
* We will accelerate our research into new, next-generation solutions to improve app discovery and move the ecosystem forward into a more privacy-centric era.
Our new valuation (more than double any traditional MMP in the industry) shows the confidence from the market — and belief from our investors — in the need for a bridge across all the chasms in mobile that break experiences and prevent measurement.
Since my earliest days as an entrepreneur, I’ve been in awe of the power of an open and connected internet. Branch has truly built the internet of apps, and there’s so much more left for us to build. This passion and vision is now shared with a team of extremely talented people that now numbers more than 500 across 16 Branch offices around the globe.
I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has worked to bring Branch to this point. For your initiative, passion, and commitment. As a team, we have worked hard to make the mobile experience better for every smartphone user on the planet, and this new round of funding will create countless opportunities to put our shared values into action bringing a more connected, open, and relevant ecosystem.
And, as we enter this new chapter of our business, we are always looking for talented, driven, and passionate new teammates to join our team. If you’d like a seat to help change the future of mobile, check out career opportunities at Branch. Build together. Grow together. Win together.
Branch provides the industry’s leading mobile linking and measurement platforms, offering solutions that unify user experience and attribution across devices and channels. Branch has been selected by over 100,000 apps since 2014 including Adobe, BuzzFeed, Yelp, and many more, improving experiences for more than 3 billion monthly users across the globe. Learn more about Branch or contact sales today.