Which Mobile Apps Attract Silicon Valley Investors?

November 29, 2017 - 5 minutes read

These days, everyone has an app idea, and it’s easy to see why. If you keep up with Dogtown Media News, then you know that the mobile app industry is gaining momentum, and there are a plethora of benefits to making a mobile app for your business. Also, you don’t even need to be a mobile app developer to create something sophisticated anymore. Want to incorporate AI? Get some help from an AI developer. Need to secure your transactions? Hire an awesome Blockchain developer.

So, the general upsides are well defined, and you can get expert help with the technical know-how. What’s holding you back? Usually, the main cause of trepidation is uncertainty — it’s difficult to decipher which app idea has what it takes to become a success. Luckily for us, Jeremy Liew just discussed his thoughts on which apps attract Silicon Valley investors.

No More Room for Mobile Apps?

The next reason people usually turn to for putting their app ideas on the backburner is the belief that there’s no more room for small players in the app market. After all, the ten most popular apps in America right now are all owned by tech titans. With these giant companies buying out competition or trying to take their market share, a little fear is understandable.

But focusing on the wrong aspects and magnifying these anecdotes don’t give an accurate picture of the mobile app landscape. Jeremy Liew, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners and early investor in Snapchat, agrees: “Critics have claimed that growth is impossible in the current environment, but they are wrong. Apps can still break out through word of mouth. If they have the right product hooks, they can get viral growth.”

Now, we know what you’re thinking — he’s an investor, he’s supposed to say stuff like this. But Liew is putting his money where his mouth is. Lightspeed Venture Partners is always on the lookout for new apps to invest in. But if Liew’s words aren’t convincing enough for you, maybe his math will be.

Translating Tech Talk

In his blog post, Liew also gave hard qualifiers for which apps attract his attention: “If your app has hit at least 10k DAU with strong engagement (25%+ DAU/MAU, at least 3 sessions/day), retention (30%+ d30 retention — that’s d30, not month 1) and growth (30%+ month on month growth), I’d like to hear from you!”

Simple, right? Okay, yes, we admit, that was a mouthful. But breaking it down elucidates a little more on what Liew meant in terms of engagement, retention, and growth. Let’s start with Liew’s formula for strong engagement. Right off the bat, Liew makes it clear he wants to see apps with at least 10,000 Daily Active Users (DAUs). It would be nice if those daily users made up more than a quarter of your app’s total Monthly Active Users (MAUs).

Next, Liew elaborates on retention. Translating the equation makes it clear that Liew wants apps where approximately a third of the first-time users still open the app 30 days after downloading it. This boils down to the question of if your app was interesting enough for someone to keep it on their phone and still use it a month later.

So you have customers using your app even long after they’ve downloaded it. What’s next? Liew wants to see some solid growth, to the tune of about a 30 percent increase each consecutive month. That’s a steep order, but if you’ve got it, Liew wants to talk to you right now. Nailing down each of these ingredients in his recipe practically makes for a surefire success.

Stay Positive

Per Liew, you can actually break down the elements of an app with awesome potential. You don’t need to be an app developer in San Francisco, New York City, or some other tech hub to get the attention of Silicon Valley investors. You just need to do the math!

If you have a mobile app idea, don’t disregard it right away due to pessimism. Besides the numbers we just discussed, remaining optimistic and motivated is integral to succeeding. Plus, now that you just finished this article, you have a much better idea of what works in the eyes of investors. Now, go out there and make your mark!

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