Tapjoy launches $5M fund to port apps to Android

After Apple cut out a big part of Tapjoy‘s business, Tapjoy’s countermove was predictable. Today, the mobile monetization company is starting a $5 million fund to make it easier for app creators to shift their apps to the Android mobile operating system.

It isn’t a huge fund, but it’s a sign that one small company is finding it easier to business on the Android platform, and that’s an embarrassment for Apple, whose recent tightening of its promotional rules drove Tapjoy away.

Previously, Tapjoy was focused on promoting games on Apple’s iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) devices. But Apple became concerned about how game companies were gaming the system by buying their onto the top 25 lists through marketing programs such as Tapjoy’s pay-per-install business, which offered users incentives if they downloaded another app. Apple felt like this was resulting in a distortion of the top rankings. But Tapjoy tried to compromise, offering to cap installs so it would not be responsible for single-handedly promoting an app into the top 25. But Apple didn’t budge.

Now Tapjoy has embraced Apple’s rival. The Tapjoy Android Fund will give working capital, developing, porting services and distribution to select developers. Tapjoy will help developers test games and adapt them to all Android handsets. The developers will have the option to use Tapjoy’s virtual currency monetization engine and other services. Selected games will also receive free marketing credits for new user acquisition through Tapjoy’s performance-based ad network.

“Tapjoy is in the business of democratizing the application ecosystem by bringing innovative content and targeted experiences to consumers while providing a level playing field for developers large and small to get their apps discovered,” said Mihir Shah, chief executive of San Francisco-based Tapjoy.

Tapjoy’s developers have more than 9,000 mobile apps and reach more than 200 million mobile consumers. One developer that has already tapped the fund is SkyVu, which makes the Battle Bears games and will be bringing them to Android this year. Benjamin Vu, chief executive of SkyVu, said that the new funds enabled the company to accelerate its Android development.

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