Success almost killed Dawlat's iOS business. That -- and the fact that Apple wasn't "getting a piece."
Can you buy your way to the top of the app store? In a word, yes.
In the good old days, Apple's app store had a few thousand apps, and you could probably browse all of them to find what you wanted. That lasted about 30 seconds.
A month after Apple infamously booted app discovery engine AppGratis from the app store, the company has approved a new type of app discovery engine, this one based on friends, celebrities, and their apps.
Guest Post Allow me to jump right into this by saying that yes, we have created a business while solving a problem.
And that last time we checked, it was still OK to do that.
AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat has been through the storm of his entrepreneurial life in the last two weeks.
AppGratis, the app-discovery engine Apple banned from the iOS App Store last week, has started an online petition against Apple that has gathered over half a million signatures in just a few short hours.
Since Apple won't talk directly, AppGratis has taken to blogging. Apple did not talk to the French company before pulling its app from the iOS app store, says CEO Simon Dawlat, and won't talk now either.
Editor's Pick AppGratis may have violated Apple guidelines, and it may not have. It's very much up to interpretation and opinion. And very obviously, having first approved and then within days rejecting AppGratis, even Apple doesn't have the same opinion all the time about the same app.
AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat spoke out today about his flagship app being pulled from the iOS app store. And what he has to say should make every developer very, very nervous about putting apps on Apple's app store.
I also checked on whether or not AppGratis had received any warnings about the banishment. The information I've been able to find is that the company was sent an email on Friday that their app would be pulled on the weekend.
Two months after closing $13.5 million in funding, hitting revenue of $1 million a month, and reaching the 300,000 new users a day plateau, app discovery platform AppGratis has been pulled from the iOS App Store by Apple.
"We're seeing a billion pageviews per month," CEO Gil Dudkiewicz told me on the phone this afternoon.
"We've been approaching the US market very cautiously almost with a bit of fear," Dawlat told me. "We're a little French company, but the growth we're seeing now ... this is completely mind-blowing for us."
In 2008 a French engineer in Silicon Valley started a newsletter about a fascinating new slice of the technology market: mobile apps. Today, his company regularly drives 250,000 downloads for featured apps ... and sometimes more than 500,000.