Launched in 2011, Apps4all has attracted a sizable portion of the mobile app developer community in Russia and neighboring countries. The startup helps large IT companies and device manufacturers interact with developers and provides a variety of media, event, training, research, and advertising activities.
Just weeks ago the young company, which is backed by a Russian candy magnate, entered the UK market with a specially designed new version of its platform. Firrma.ru, an online publication covering the Russian startup and venture scene, met with Alexander Vasiliev, co-founder and General Managing Director of the company, to find out more.
Why did you decide to enter the UK market?
Several factors contributed to this. Firstly, we are keen to enter the English-speaking market. As much as the American market is the biggest and most competitive we decided to focus our efforts on a smaller market first. Despite the fact that the UK market is smaller than that of the USA, it is, however, much bigger than the Russian market, and therefore appealing to us. We wanted to see how our technology would work in a more active and mature market.
Is this your first project at international level?
Yes, this is our first experience of completing a project outside of the Russian Federation. Therefore we have looked closely at everything connected with it. We manage the development and business operations from our Moscow offices, but marketing and sales are carried out locally. We have a partner in London, Dmitri Rysenzov who takes care of the development of the business over there. And when we are ready for the application to be commercially available, Dmitri will manage the business operation directly from the UK.
Has it turned out that this English version of Apps4All has no substantial difference from the Russian version or not?
Absolutely, there is no difference in either the business model or the technology. And having created a certain product here which works in the Russian market, we want to confirm the hypothesis by opening branches in other countries, and, in this way, still working within our economic parameters as all the technology designed by our Russian colleagues we can use worldwide.
Is there an analogue Apps4All in the UK?
We recently analysed all competitors and didn’t see any identical products, although there are a number, which partially duplicate functions of our service. For example, the offline developer community are organising events, but they do not have an online component. There are analytical services, like for example AppAnnie, which does not have a computer component. But we could not find any service, which would function 100% as a competitor. On the one hand it’s a plus, and on the other a negative, because we have no guarantee that our hypothesis will work out.
Lyubov Simonova , director of Almaz Capital Partners (which funded Apps4All) commented, “I am always glad when our businesses take their products to other countries. But entering the market is one thing; establishing oneself is another thing altogether. So I can only wish them success, to aim high, and achieve”.
This interview was published in Russian in Firrma.ru and translated into English by RusBase.