In today’s hyper connected world, we sometimes forget how different things were just a decade ago. In 2002, Blackberry did not have a phone, the majority of the Nokia phones were monochromatic with tiny screens and mobiles had pull out antennas to help with reception. It was not a “Mobile First” world. Yet a startup decided to dream big and decided to go Mobile. Thus, in 2002, Sprite Interactive Limited was started, their first apps were mobile pet apps which they built on J2ME and went live with Jamba and later were also available on Vodafone.
Being pioneers, they had a massive first mover advantage. Without many competitors, it was easy to establish a business and partner with operators around the globe. In 2004, they started building apps for Blackberry, but they struggled with distribution, as most operators could not distribute Blackberry apps. Thus, scratching their own itch, they set up their own app store for Orange UK in 2006. Starting off with Blackberry, the store expanded to provide apps for all platforms including Android. It was completely integrated with Orange and used their billing pipeline thus making it easier for consumers to buy Apps. Handmark Inc, a developer and distributor of mobile content based out of US, was trying to enter the European market during this time, but did not see a lot of traction. Thus they brought Sprite Interactive to accelerate their growth. After the acquisition was complete, Alex and his team started another company, Handyx Limited, focusing on education and app development. Fast forward to 2011, a lot had changed, Handyx had seen a tremendous growth, and Handmark had given up on a few app stores. Thus Alex was able to buy back Sprite Interactive, a company he build a decade ago!
In the same year, they decided to monetize their apps using Ads. With over 65 J2ME titles, they understood integrating ads in their apps would be a massive challenge. It would require a herculean effort from their tech team to go through all the apps, changing layout to accommodate ads, integrate complex SDKs, create and re-test of all the builds! A lot of time the new builds would have stripped down functionality, as SDK’s use precious heap space, especially on devices with limited resources.
That’s when Alex chose to work with Vserv.mobi and use our powerful AppWrapper™ platform to monetize all their apps in One Click! Alex loved the innovative approach, and said: “The most hassle free way of monetizing our apps was using Vserv.mobi’s AppWrapper to wrap all our J2ME titles and distribute them via a free to play model. The time required to wrap all the apps in our portfolio was a fraction of the time any traditional method would take” This was so successful that Handyx decided to monetize their Android and Windows Phone titles using the AppWrapper™ as well.
Handyx is currently seeing great growth, and they have ambitious goals ahead! It’s not every day that a man builds a company, sells it, and then buys it back only to become bigger! We have no doubt that Alex and his team will reach every goal they set themselves. Here is saluting him and the pioneering spirit of all mobile industry entrepreneurs.
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