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Fiksu expands with Northampton office


Fiksu Inc., a Boston-based mobile application platform company, said today that it has opened a new office in Northampton that will initially be home to seven new employees, according to the company.

The new office at 104 Main St. will focus on developing optimization algorithms for the Fiksu for Mobile Apps platform, which helps brands improve iOS and Android mobile app store visibility and secure large volumes of loyal users. The company said its investment in another Massachusetts' office resulted from its rapid growth, and shows its ongoing efforts to insource new talent locally.

"We found people here [in Northampton] that we were unable to hire in Boston. We need to hire people where they are rather than where we are," Mark Corner, vice president of engineering at Fiksu, told Mass High Tech. Corner, who will run the new office, is a recognized authority on mobile and pervasive computing and an associate professor on extended leave from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the company said. He added, "There is a nice synergy with all the universities in western Massachusetts. There are five different academic institutions here."

The Fiksu office is close to Amherst College and Smith College, which are rich targets for recruiting software engineers. The new location will draw prospective employees who prefer a rural lifestyle without the daily commute into downtown Boston, the company said.

Corner said Fiksu as a whole has been adding a couple people a month as the market for mobile devices and applications booms. The company has tripled its staff in less than a year to more than 80 employees between Boston and Northampton, and Corner said it plans to hire another 40-50 this year. It also has some outsourced programmers in Eastern Europe and sales people in various locations. Fiksu also is actively hiring at its Boston headquarters, seeking software developers and engineers with a strong focus on big data and distributed systems.

The company said GSMA Research recently released data predicting significant growth in mobile industry employment with more than 10 million mobile industry jobs by the end of 2015. Fiksu said its growth is following a similar path.

Privately held Fiksu has a total of $7 million in funding to date from Charles River Ventures and private backers. Corner said the company is funded by revenue. He would not comment on revenue numbers for the company, which currently is not looking for more funding.

The company was founded in late 2008 as Fluent Mobile Inc. and renamed Fiksu in 2011 to reflect the expansion its business model, according to its Web site. The name Fiksu, which means "smart" in Finnish, plays on founder Micah Adler's Finnish roots.

Among Fiksu's customers are Groupon, VH1, Barnes & Noble, Gilt Groupe, and Hearst Magazines. Corner said that with more than 400,000 different apps on iOS alone, customers need to get noticed, and come to his company for help. "There are more and more places to show ads for mobile apps online," he said. "The game changes all the time. A good place to show an ad today may not be a good place in a week." He said the new office in Northampton is focusing on optimization and research to help stay ahead of all the changes.

The company said it has analyzed more than 11 billion mobile app actions and more than 200 million downloads, and uses that information to help marketers benchmark how their mobile app marketing stacks up against industry averages. It also said it helps paint the big picture of trends impacting their businesses.

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