Apus  

“Beyond an Android Launcher. Make Your Phone Special”

Founded: 2014 in Beijing, China

Category: Mobile Internet, Mobile Apps

Primary office: Beijing (China)

Core technical team: Beijing, China

Status: Private

Employees: 300-500

Amount raised: $116 million  (2 rounds – Jan, 2015)

OVERVIEW

  • Chinese mobile Internet technology company.
  • APUS is an acronym for “A Perfect User System.”
  • Enhanced user system for Android smart phones aiming to provide fast and convenient access to Internet
  • Supports 25 languages
  • Manges the mobile phone interactive interface, mobile phone system, user communication and social relationships, user information and access to information, and the management of applications, covering all usage aspects of mobile phones
  • Improves user experience with APUS System, APUS AI and APUS Cloud.
  • Expanding internationally and practitioner of “digital Belt and Road”

 

PERFORMANCE METRICS

  • Estimated valuation: $1.7 billion
  • Revenue: $ 141 million (2019)
  • Gross Margin: 98% (2017)

 

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Enrolled in the list of the $1 billion Club of venture companies by Wall Street Journal, to be the world’s youngest Unicorn Company (2015)
  • Listed as “China Unicorn Company” for two consecutive years (2017)
  • Won “Zhong Guancun Unicorn Award” for three consecutive years (2018)
  • Accumulated over 1.4 billion global users in 200+ countries and regions; 69% from 65 “Belt and Road” countries (2018)

Sells

  • Content operation mode: provide users with content services, thereby attracting users to watch advertisements and charge through advertisements from third-party platforms (Main customers: Google, Facebook, Twitter)
  • Charge users with paid service in some apps

Channels

  • Provide low cost entry points for customers moving to smartphones from feature phones
  • Free applications, such as APUS Launcher, Powerful Cleaner, APUS Booster+, APUS Browser, Super File Manager etc.

Competencies

  • Mature and leading technologies, products and business models
  • Strong sense of service cultivated in the Chinese Internet market

Resources

Assets

  • Self-built Nebula Platform – gain valuable information by storing and screening big data on users, facilitating accurate prediction of user needs and recommendations based on user preferences
  • CEO leadership – rich experienced, innovative visionary and highly strategic entrepreneur
  • Strong technical R&D team that takes up to 70% of the company; the annual R&D cost accounts for 20%-30% of the company’s revenue
  • Enormous customer base benefiting from high smartphone netizen growth rate and high mobile application utilization rate
  • Lightweight operating system on Android smartphones, including desktop operations, browsers, search, message management, application distribution, download and other functions

Processes

  • Executing cross-border to seize emerging markets (South and Southeast Asia, Africa, South America, Middle East) while the domestic market is fiercely competitive and saturated
  • Build a global ecosystem:
    • export products, technologies, users, and traffic
    • find local partners to achieve high-speed growth in the local area through investment and capital cooperation (e.g., support and cultivate music, games, news, videos, e-commerce and O2O platforms)
    • marketing and PR (Public Relation) to increase product awareness and establish political and business relationships
    • build branches and local operations
    • establish global and regional partners such as Facebook, Google, InMobi
  • Invest heavily to build APUS cloud to replace the use of AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Google Cloud – reduce costs by about 50%
  • Connect with AWS and Google Cloud to gain a bigger cloud platform
  • Upgrade products through user feedback analysis
  • Cultural integration – understand the local religion, politics, culture, the preferences of local users, and their requirements and constraints
  • Differentiate products and impress users, make the product experience considerate, humane, and consistent with user habits

Priorities

  • Expand overseas market
  • Follow the global trend, choose accurate timing, harness the potential, and achieve rapid growth
  • Continuously develop new users, capture consumer demand as the core of the product
  • Reap great value through intellectual property
  • Games will become the main business in the near future, use the game business as a breakthrough to enter the developed markets in Europe and America

Assertions That Best Describe What the Company Did to Scale Early, Rapidly & Securely

  1. Develop and sell offers that are hard to replicate, original, fit successful commercialization patterns, and ride an external trend
  2. Operate a large data collection and service center
  3. Establish cross border partnerships with third party service providers to serve customers regionally and globally
  4. Continuously improve value propositions based on results and feedback
  5. Apply big data analytics to produce insightful information about users, suppliers and customers to enhance shopping pattern analysis, improve customers experience, predict market trends, provide more secure online payment solutions, increase personalization, optimize and automate pricing, and provide dynamic customer service
  6. To localize the global, innovate locally leveraging global standards that enable interoperability, portability, and reusability, and adapt global products to integrate into local context
  7. Develop capabilities to capture and use data from every interaction with every customer, supplier, partner and user to drive informed decision making across all levels of the company
  8. Use scientific and technological advances to develop innovative offers
  9. Develop value propositions that enhance your customers and suppliers’ outcomes, marketing strategies, and competitive advantages

References

  1. sohu.com. (n.d.). 估值18.5亿美元的独角兽冲击A股IPO,成立4年不到,毛利率高达98%!-搜狐财经. [online] Available at: https://business.sohu.com/20180619/n541087869.shtml [Accessed 24 Jun. 2020].
  2. (2014). Crunchbase. [online] Available at: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/apus [Accessed 23 Jun. 2020].
  3. Group, A. (n.d.). APUS System, Android User System – APUS. [online] www.apusapps.com. Available at: https://www.apusapps.com/en/ [Accessed 23 Jun. 2020a].
  4. Group, A. (n.d.). APUS系统:更小、更快、更智能!超越桌面,极佳手机体验。全球用户的选择. [online] www.apusapps.com. Available at: https://www.apusapps.com/cn/ [Accessed 23 Jun. 2020b].
  5. baijingapp.com. (n.d.). APUS全球市场副总裁刘军:中国互联网的全球进化. [online] Available at: http://www.baijingapp.com/article/25503 [Accessed 23 Jun. 2020].
  6. sohu.com. (n.d.). APUS海外成功的六点经验与启示. [online] Available at: https://www.sohu.com/a/205978763_343044 [Accessed 23 Jun. 2020a].
  7. sohu.com. (n.d.). 四年12亿用户,麒麟合盛(APUS)的出海与回归_李涛. [online] Available at: https://www.sohu.com/a/280071655_115931 [Accessed 23 Jun. 2020b].
  8. 知乎专栏. (n.d.). 两年2亿用户,APUS高速增长如何实现?. [online] Available at: https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/21441001 [Accessed 23 Jun. 2020a].
  9. 知乎专栏. (n.d.). 麒麟网络APUS(拟IPO):中国互联网出海领航者,成功打造AUPS系统应用矩阵,全球安装用户突破12亿. [online] Available at: https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/38107502 [Accessed 24 Jun. 2020b].

Contributors

  • Nan Yang