Category: Mobile

The World’s Most Used Apps, by Downstream Traffic


This post is by Omri Wallach from Visual Capitalist


The World’s Most Used Apps by Downstream Traffic

The World’s Most Used Apps, by Downstream Traffic

Of the millions of apps available around the world, just a small handful of the most used apps dominate global internet traffic.

Everything connected to the internet takes bandwidth to view. When you look at something on your smartphone—whether it’s a new message on Instagram or the next few seconds of a YouTube video—your device is downloading the data in the background.

And the bigger the files, the more bandwidth is utilized. Here’s a breakdown of the most used apps by category, using Sandvine’s global mobile traffic report for 2021 Q1.

Video Drives Global Mobile Internet Traffic

The biggest files use the most data, and video files take the cake.

According to Android Central, streaming video ranges from about 0.7GB per hour of data for a 480p video to 1.5GB per hour for 1080. A 4K stream, the highest resolution currently offered by most providers, uses around 7.2GB per hour.

That’s miles bigger than audio files, where high quality 320kbps music streams use an average of just 0.12GB per hour. Social network messages are usually just a few KB, while the pictures found on them can range from a few hundred KB for a low resolution image to hundreds of MB for high resolution.

Understandably, breaking down mobile downstream traffic by app category shows that video is on top by a long shot:

CategoryDownstream Traffic Share (2021 Q1)
Video Streaming48.9%
Social Networking19.3%
Web13.1%
Messaging6.7%
(Read more...)

Jerry raises $75M at a $450M valuation to build a car ownership ‘super app’



Just months after raising $28 million, Jerry announced today that it has raised $75 million in a Series C round that values the company at $450 million.

Existing backer Goodwater Capital doubled down on its investment in Jerry, leading the “oversubscribed” round. Bow Capital, Kamerra, Highland Capital Partners and Park West Asset Management also participated in the financing, which brings Jerry’s total raised to $132 million since its 2017 inception. Goodwater Capital also led the startup’s Series B earlier this year. Jerry’s new valuation is about “4x” that of the company at its Series B round, according to co-founder and CEO Art Agrawal

“What factored into the current valuation is our annual recurring revenue, growing customer base and total addressable market,” he told TechCrunch, declining to be more specific about ARR other than to say it is growing “at a very fast rate.” He also said the company “continues to meet and exceed growth and revenue targets” with its first product, a service for comparing and buying car insurance. At the time of the company’s last raise, Agrawal said Jerry saw its revenue surge by “10x” in 2020 compared to 2019.

Jerry, which says it has evolved its model to a mobile-first car ownership “super app,” aims to save its customers time and money on car expenses. The Palo Alto-based startup launched its car insurance comparison service using artificial intelligence and machine learning in January (Read more...)

Revery gets $2M to improve mental health with mobile gaming techniques



In “Macbeth,” Shakespeare described sleep as the “chief nourisher in life’s feast.” But like his titular character, many adults aren’t sleeping well. Revery wants to help with an app that combines cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia with mobile gaming concepts.

Founded in 2021, Revery is currently in beta stealth mode and plans to launch its app in the United States later this year. The company announced today it has raised $2 million led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge program. Participants included GGV Capital, Pascal Capital, zVentures (Razer’s corporate venture arm) and angel investors like MyFitnessPal co-founder Albert Lee; gaming entrepreneur Juha Paananen; CRED founder Kunal Shah; Mobile Premier League founder Sam Srinivas; Carolin Krenzer; and Josh Lee.

Lee, a mutual friend, first introduced Revery’s founders, Tammie Siew and Khoa Tran to one another. Before launching the startup, Siew worked at Sequoia Capital India, Boston Consulting Group and CRED, while Tran was a former product manager at Google.

Revery plans focus on other mental health issues in the future, but it’s starting with sleep because “it has such a strong correlation with mental health and we’re leveraging protocols, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, that’s robust and has been tried and tested for 30 years,” Siew told TechCrunch. “That is the first indication, but the goal is to build multiple games for other wellness indications as well.”

A study by research firm Infinium found that about 30% (Read more...)

VOCHI raises additional $2.4 million for its computer vision-powered video editing app



VOCHI, a Belarus-based startup behind a clever computer vision-based video editing app used by online creators, has raised an additional $2.4 million in a “late-seed” round that follows the company’s initial $1.5 million round led by Ukraine-based Genesis Investments last year. The new funds follow a period of significant growth for the mobile tool, which is now used by over 500,000 people per month and has achieved a $4 million-plus annual run rate in a year’s time.

Investors in the most recent round include TA Ventures, Angelsdeck, A.Partners, Startup Wise Guys, Kolos VC, and angels from other Belarus-based companies like Verv and Bolt. Along with the fundraise, VOCHI is elevating the company’s first employee, Anna Bulgakova, who began as head of marketing, to the position of co-founder and Chief Product Officer.

According to VOCHI co-founder and CEO lya Lesun, the company’s idea was to provide an easy way for people to create professional edits that could help them produce unique and trendy content for social media that could help them stand out and become more popular. To do so, VOCHI leverages a proprietary computer-vision-based video segmentation algorithm that applies various effects to specific moving objects in a video or to images in static photos.

“To get this result, there are two trained [convolutional neural networks] to perform semi-supervised Video Object Segmentation and Instance Segmentation,” explains Lesun, of VOCHI’s technology. “Our team also developed a custom rendering engine for video effects that enables instant application in 4K on mobile devices. (Read more...)

European challenger bank Bunq raises $228 million at $1.9 billion valuation



Amsterdam-based challenger bank Bunq has been self-funded by its founder and CEO Ali Niknam for several years. But the company has decided to raise some external capital, leading to the largest Series A round for a European fintech company.

The startup is raising $228 million (€193 million) in a round led by Pollen Street Capital. Bunq founder Ali Niknam is also participating in the round — he’s investing $29.5 million (€25 million) while Pollen Street Capital is financing the rest of the round.

As part of the deal, Bunq is also acquiring Capitalflow Group, an Irish lending company that was previously owned by … Pollen Street Capital.

Founded in 2012, Ali Niknam has already invested quite a bit of money into his own company. He poured $116.6 million (€98.7 million) of his own capital into Bunq — that doesn’t even take into account today’s funding round.

But it has paid off as the company expects to break even on a monthly basis in 2021. The company passed €1 billion in user deposits earlier this year. So why is the company raising external funding after turning down VC firms for so many years?

“Everything has a right time. In the beginning of Bunq, it was important to get a laser user focus in the company. Having to also focus on fundraises and the needs of investors distracts. Bunq now is mature enough to start scaling up significantly, so more capital is welcome,” Niknam said.

In particular, the company expects to (Read more...)

Lightyear is a new stock trading app from early Wise employees



Meet Lightyear, a new London-based startup coming out of stealth today. The company is building a stock trading app with a focus on creating a truly commission-free app. In addition to waving account fees and trading fees, Lightyear doesn’t charge foreign exchange fees either — up to a certain point.

The two founders met when they were working at Wise — then known as TransferWise. That’s why it makes sense that Lightyear wants to stand out from the crowd with lower foreign exchange fees.

Martin Sokk, co-founder and CEO of Lightyear, worked at Wise between 2012 and 2017. He has held various roles, such as head of product, head of people and head of operations. Mihkel Aamer, Lightyear’s other co-founder and CTO, was an engineering lead at Wise between 2013 and 2019.

“Having spent my career in financial services, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I believe retail investing in Europe is still very much ‘the ugly’ — we’re talking about sneaky fees, less access and complicated products remaining as the status quo,” Martin Sokk said in a statement. “We’re building something that will change that by opening up investing up to everyone, whichever global market they want to invest in and however much they want to invest.”

As a user, you can expect a mobile app that lets you buy and sell shares and ETFs. There will be 1,500 stocks and ETFs from multiple markets at launch. Customers won’t pay any account fees, (Read more...)

Kushki, an Ecuador-based fintech, raises $86M to build financial infrastructure in Latam



Just about every week there’s a blockbuster round coming out of South America, but in certain countries such as Ecuador, things have been more hush hush. However, Kushki, a Quito-based fintech, is bringing attention to the region with today’s announcement of a $86 million Series B and a $600 million valuation.

“We never thought that we would return home [from the U.S.] and build a company that was more valuable in Ecuador than we had built in the U.S.,” said Aron Schwarzkopf, CEO and co-founder of Kushki.

Schwarzkopf and his business partner, Sebastián Castro, had previously built and sold a fintech called Leaf in the U.S. in 2014. The two are originally from Ecuador but moved to Boston for college, where they met watching soccer.

Unlike many other fintechs in Latam that are out to help the unbanked, Kushki works behind the scenes building the tech infrastructure that companies like Nubank use to transfer money. Some of the functionalities they build enable both local and cross-border payment players in credit and debit cards, bank transfers, digital cash, mobile wallets, and other alternative payment methods.

“We realized there was a gigantic opportunity to democratize and create infrastructure to move money,” Schwarzkopf told TechCrunch.

The company, which was founded in 2017, already has operations in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. The Series B will be used to accelerate growth and expand to Brazil and nine other markets in Central America.

Generally, expanding to Brazil is an expensive proposition, and therefore (Read more...)

Kleiner spots Spot Meetings $5M to modernize walk-and-talks for the Zoom generation



Trees, those deciduous entities you can occasionally see outdoors when not locked down or strapped down at a desktop ruminating on a video call, have long been the inspiration for fresh new ideas. Stories abound of how founders built companies while walking the foothills in Silicon Valley or around parks in San Francisco, and yet, we’ve managed over the past year to take movement mostly out of our remote work lives.

Chicago-based Spot Meetings wants to reinvigorate our meetings — and displace Zoom as the default meeting medium at the same time.

The product and company are just a few months old and remain in closed beta (albeit opening up a bit shortly here), and today it’s announcing $5 million in seed funding led by Ilya Fushman at Kleiner Perkins. That follows a $1.9 million pre-seed round led by Chapter One earlier this year.

CEO and co-founder Greg Caplan said that the team is looking to rebuild the meeting from the ground up for an audio-only environment. “On mobile, it needs to be abundantly simple to be very functional and understood for users so that they can actually use it on the go,” he described. In practice, that requires product development across a wide range of layers.

The product’s most notable feature today is that it has an assistant, aptly named Spot, which listens in on the call and which participants can direct commands to while speaking. For instance, saying “Spot Fetch” will pull the last 40 seconds of conversation, (Read more...)

OneNav locates $21M from GV to map our transition to the next generation of GPS



GPS is one of those science fiction technologies whose use is effortless for the end user and endlessly challenging for the engineers who design it. It’s now at the heart of modern life: everything from Amazon package deliveries to our cars and trucks to our walks through national parks are centered around a pin on a map that monitors us down to a few meters.

Yet, GPS technology is decades old, and it’s going through a much-needed modernization. The U.S., Europe, China, Japan and others have been installing a new generation of GNSS satellites (GNSS is the generic name for GPS, which is the specific name for the U.S. system) that will offer stronger signals in what is known as the L5 band (1176 MHz). That means more accurate map pinpoints compared to the original generation L1 band satellites, particularly in areas where line-of-sight can be obscured like urban areas. L5 was “designed to meet demanding requirements for safety-of-life transportation and other high-performance applications,” as the U.S. government describes it.

It’s one thing to put satellites into orbit (that’s the easy part!), and another to build power-efficient chips that can scan for these signals and triangulate a coordinate (that’s the hard part!). So far, chipmakers have focused on creating hybrid chips that pull from the L1 and L5 bands simultaneously. For example, Broadcom recently announced the second-generation of its hybrid chip.

OneNav has a totally different opinion on product design, and it placed it right in its name. (Read more...)

Fantasy fantasy sport Blaseball developers score $3M seed funding to go mobile



In the absence of a real baseball league, it is perhaps not surprising that a simulated one should grow popular during the troubled year 2020. But even so, the absurdist horror and minimalist aesthetic of Blaseball seem an unlikely success. The text-based fantasy fantasy league has attracted hundreds of thousands of players and now $3.4 million in funding to build up the game and go mobile.

If you’re unfamiliar with Blaseball, feel free to go check it out now and sign up — it’s free. You’ll probably get a better idea of what the game is from 30 seconds of browsing than the next couple paragraphs.

For those of you who’d rather read, however, Blaseball is a web-based fictional baseball-esque league where players can bet in-game currency on the outcomes. But this is where things get weird. The teams aren’t the Mariners or the Mets but the Moist Talkers and the Worms; players have names like Chorby Soul and Peanutiel Duffy; their stats include things like allergies, pregame rituals, and an inventory of RPG-like items.

Likewise, games — told through simple text summaries of the action like you might see in the corner of a sports site — involve hits, balls, and stealing, but also incineration, shaming, and secret bases. “Weather” might involve spontaneous blood transfusions between players, or birds that interfere with play.

In short, it’s totally ridiculous, utterly unpredictable, and very funny. This totally unique concoction of fantasy leagues, baseball satire, and cosmic horror has accrued a (Read more...)