And to do that, Nanigans needs cash to incentivise clients to sign up for annual subscriptions.
“The transition to SaaS away from managed services and the transition from just being on Facebook to being multichannel takes a lot of engineering dollars,” said Calvillo, who told AdExchanger that he expects all Nanigans clients – which include eBay, Zynga, JackThreads, Rosetta Stone, Wayfair and Fab.com, as well as a large number of app developers and gaming, ecom, travel and retail companies – to be on the fully SaaS model by the end of Q2.
Although Nanigans is setting its sights on expanding into social and mobile publisher channels beyond Facebook – it already integrated with Twitter’s MoPub in November – that doesn’t mean the company isn’t still fully committed to its love affair with Facebook.
“Facebook is still our number one priority and we want to maintain our leadership position on Facebook. In fact, some of this money will continue to be invested in Facebook,” Calvillo said. “We have at least 50, 60 engineers full-time just on Facebook. But Facebook knows we need to be multichannel. They understand that we have to do that.”
The company also plans to use a portion of its new money to double headcount to around 350 within the year, as well as open new international offices in China, Japan, Germany and South America. In addition to its headquarters in Boston, Nanigans also maintains offices in New York, San Francisco, London, Singapore and Sydney.
“International is about 25% of our business – it should be 40% – and we’re starting our in-country recruiting immediately,” said Calvillo.
Although Calvillo said he couldn’t yet get specific on how his company will work together with Cheetah Mobile, he did note that the partnership will accelerate Nanigans’ focus on the China, “which had not been a high priority for us” before.
“Cheetah Mobile participated in the round for strategic reasons,” Calvillo said, rather cryptically. “They’re not a venture firm like the other financial investors in the round.”
Cheetah, a subsidiary of Chinese software giant Kingsoft, seems to be making a habit out of strategic ad tech investments lately.
Known as a utility mobile app developer, Cheetah was in the news just last week after shelling out $58 million to buy French mobile ad tech player MobPartner. Add to that the fact that Lei Jun, CEO of handset make Xiaomi, serves as Cheetah’s chairman, and all evidence points to the fact that Cheetah Mobile is looking to pounce on the mobile ad market.