Start on Android and succeed on Google Play

Posted by Karolis Balciunas, VC & Startups Business Development, Google Play

Early Access was launched at Google I/O 2016 as a destination on Google Play for beta app and game titles still in development, and to attract early adopters willing to test those titles. The results speak for themselves. The program has helped over 350 developers launch their titles and generated over 40M beta installs for their apps and games during just the short window before their public availability on the Play Store. More importantly, the average rating for titles that have been through Early Access is 4.3☆ once in production, putting them in a strong position to be favored in search and discovery on Google Play.

Early Access also generates positive awareness for new titles. Alumni like Simple Habit and Digit were chosen as finalists in the “Standout Startup” category at the Google Play Awards this year. Omnidrone’s game Titan Brawl became the first game to reach 1M testers. Hear more about their experience in the video below.

Early Access and our work with the venture capital community has taught us a lot about successful startups. We know you seek rapid iteration towards product-market fit and are thirsty for the same kind of powerful testing, analytics, and user feedback that Google’s own product teams depend on to launch successful products. When we know about your startup’s plans well in advance of your launch date, we can impact your trajectory by supporting you through this understood process of iterative improvement.

Start on Android

Earlier this year we launched Start on Android to identify the highest potential Android startups earlier in their lifecycle and provide tools, perks, and guidance for those who qualify. We’ve developed five components that have proven to be most impactful:

  1. Early Access participation enabling developers to recruit beta testers and respond to their feedback before it impacts an app’s rating on the Play Store.
  2. Pre-launch user interface and user experience reviews from the Play editorial team to help optimize onboarding experiences, material design implementation, business model execution, and user engagement.
  3. Access to Google perks like the Google Cloud Platform’s Spark Package which includes $ 20K in Google Cloud and Firebase credits, free 12 months of G Suite for up to 10 employees, and other financial incentives.
  4. Opportunities to participate in Google Play and other Google teams’ programs and special events including Google Cloud Platform, Google for Entrepreneurs, and Launchpad.
  5. Guidance in the form of videos and content on startup best practices available to all at StartonAndroid.com.

We are just getting started

We’ve already seen a lot of developer interest and received hundreds of public applications and referrals from venture capitalists and other startup influencers. Below are a few accepted startups:

  • Socratic – A Spark Capital backed company that allows students to solve math problems by snapping a photo with their camera and using computer vision to return relevant answers and related concepts and video.
  • Astro – A Redpoint portfolio company that layers AI on top of your email to help intelligently manage your inbox.
  • Peanut – A Tinder-like app for connecting moms, funded by NEA and Felix Capital.
  • Gyroscope – A startup working on an “operating system for the human body”.
  • Empower – An exciting new money management app backed by Sequoia Capital, coming soon to Android.

We are incredibly proud of every developer we work with and grateful to our friends within VC firms and the wider community who bring exciting new startups to our attention.

Get in touch with us

If you would like to be part of Start on Android, complete the form at StartonAndroid.com. We’re looking for developers who are planning to launch on Android soon, or have done so in the past 6 months.

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