Apps want you to download them, and they’re willing to pay up to advertisers get more users. According to data marketing company Fiksu, the average cost per install for app developers is $1.43 for iOS and $2.73 for Android.
CauseTap takes the middleman of advertising out of the picture.
The app partners with nonprofit organizations and app developers, and has created a marketplace of apps that will donate to the charity of the user’s choice, instead of paying for advertising. With CauseTap, the app developer can reach users without having to advertise, and the user can know that money was donated because of their simple-enough deed of downloading an app.
“Apps really need users because there’s increasing competition in app stores, so we’re filtering out that competition and they’re able to reach users more directly,” said Andrea Nylund, one of the cofounders of CauseTap. “And nonprofits are sorely in need of funding. When something like the Ice Bucket Challenge comes along everyone notices, but, you know, there are over a million nonprofits.”
Nylund said CauseTap charges developers $0.60 per install and splits the revenue 40-60 with the nonprofit of the user’s choice (CauseTap is only on Android at the moment). The nonprofits on the platform run from the ALS Association to local organizations like Startup Box, a South Bronx company that’s trying to reshore quality assistance jobs to the South Bronx.
“People are used to cause marketing on the consumer level, like if you buy a box of cereal with a ribbon on it,” she explained. “But the app store is kind of perfect for that kind of approach: there are a ton of options and all you have is a little icon. So this can help apps stand out.”
Nylund and her cofounders, Luke Downs and Adam Borut, are working together for the second time, after building and launching Light Bulb Finder, an app that helps users switch from incandescent light bulbs to energy-efficient bulbs. The trio wanted to keep in line with their desire to do something socially beneficial, but wanted to branch out to a more widely-applicable app.
Nylund recently moved from Los Angeles to Brooklyn to work on the app, and says that Brooklyn’s tech scene is more conducive to social enterprises than is California’s.
“For the social impact space there’s just a lot going on here, probably more than Silicon Valley, really,” she said. “I think in Silicon Valley the priorities are a little different. Social impact has a lot of momentum in New York.”