Mobile marketing startup Tune cuts 9% of staff
- Tune, a mobile marketing startup that's raised $36.4 million in venture funding, cut 9% of its staff in an effort to return to profitability, GeekWire reported. About 30 of its 320 employees were let go among its nine offices worldwide, CEO Peter Hamilton told the technology news publisher. He said the company has been profitable for most of its eight-year history and is estimated to make $80 million this year.
- Tune develops technology to track and analyze app downloads and usage, and is used by mobile marketers, app creators and ad agencies. The company has released new products this year, including its Fraud Prevention Solution program in July intended to handle ad fraud by connecting marketers and ad partners with shared data and analysis.
- Tune faced technical challenges last month after social network Facebook changed its ad policies related to deep links. Facebook in August started to prevent companies from using deep links for measurement or tracking purposes, which Tune relied on to provide data to its advertiser customers.
Tune's job cuts show the travails that smaller companies face amid a quickly shifting landscape for marketing and advertising tech firms, despite the mobile space's overall rapid growth. Reports of an industry shakeout have appeared several times over the past few years, but the mobile market continues to grow as big-name advertisers dedicate more of their budgets to smartphone media, reflecting the increasing amount of time consumers spend on smartphones. The news also points to the massive power that digital advertising platforms like Facebook wield over the industry, where changes to algorithms and policies — even small ones — can have an outsized ripple effect on businesses that specialize in particular technology areas.
Tune's growth plan includes efforts to focus more on deepening its relationships with customers instead of spreading itself out among a larger group of clients, CEO Hamilton told GeekWire earlier this year. He said the company would focus on predictable revenue sources that would make an initial public offering more feasible sometime in the future.
Tune in May added two people to its leadership team, including former Oracle exec Ryan Buma, who joined as chief commercial officer. Former Simply Measured executive Leila Kirske was named CFO of Tune. Hamilton said the company is still hiring for open jobs.