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News  25, Aug 2012

MobileApps’ founders kill service, aim to sell domain for US$1M

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mobileappsMobileApps shuts down, calls out to prospective buyers to take over the domain.

MobileApps, a cross-platform mobile app marketplace cofounded by Malaysia based Alvin Koay, has just announced that they are shutting down. We first wrote about the app discovery platform back in 2011, which was built to help apps avoid the clutter of app stores and use the web as the discovery and distributions channel. TechCrunch also called them the adsense for mobile apps.

While the platform as a huge vision, it did not work out as Alvin would like. In his own words, “MobileApps.com, is shutting down, after failing to find traction”. Currently, Alvin is working on RichMediaAds, an ad creation tool for rich media ads which is slated to launch in a couple of weeks. RichMediaAds was also one of our Echelon 2012 exhibiting startup.

MobileApps’s domain to sell for US$1M

So what happens to MobileApps.com? According to Alvin, he is currently looking for prospective buyers to take over the domain for US$1 million. Why the figure? ReadWriteWeb published an article saying that the market for mobile application development services, which includes things like app creation, management, distribution and extension services, will grow to US$100 billion by 2015. If you take into consideration for a category-defining name in a US$100 billion global industry, the US$1 million dollar suddenly seems to make sense. Alvin also shared with us that the figure is conservative if we compare to other reported domain sales such as feedback.com which sold at over US$1.2 million or marketingtoday.com which sold at US$1.5 million. With hundreds of domain name changes everyday, there might be unreported sales which are also sold in millions.

For the MobileApps domain, it enjoys about 150-200 natural type-ins per day. That is without proper search engine optimization. Naturally, with proper SEO, the numbers would skyrocket. With a high organic traffic for the domain, the domain owner will get to enjoy free leads without doing much marketing.

Alvin certainly knows his stuff, and certainly an expert in high value domain name brokerage. If you are wondering how much he bought the mobileapps domain for, it was US$10,000 back when the Apple App Store was just released. Alvin hunted and negotiated for the domain name for a year, and eventually landed himself with a premium domain name.

Read on for the full press release of the shutdown.

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Singapore, August 23, 2012 - MobileApps.com has decided to cease operations to focus on a much larger global online advertising industry. Initially launched as a mobile app discovery platform & marketplace in early 2011, it targeted the highly niched mobile app industry. Due to the overcrowding of app stores, app developers find it hard to get their apps discovered and that was the gap that MobileApps.com was trying to fill.

After a year building out the solutions, the company realised that the market for developers is just too small for it to grow into a sizeable company. According to Alvin Koay, the CEO & founder, “We have a great technology and it does not do justice to it by just focusing on a small market. Instead, if we were to re-purpose our solutions for a much bigger industry, it makes more sense. The app discovery niche is only a small subset of the online advertising market. Therefore it is a much bigger opportunity to deploy our technologies in somewhere larger.”

As reported by ZenithOptimedia this year, online advertising is the fastest growing medium, averaging 16% per year between 2011 and 2014 and forecasted to reach about USD100 million in 2013.

The company stopped all development work on MobileApps.com 3 months ago and had started building out a new DIY interactive rich media ad creation tool. It is currently in testing mode and will launch in a few weeks as RichMediaAds.com.

About MobilleApps.com Pte Ltd. 
MobileApps.com Pte Ltd is a company incorporated in Singapore and received seed funding from a publicly-listed company in Japan. It was featured in various technology websites including TechCrunch and ZDNet Asia.

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Jacky Yap

Jacky Yap

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

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