July 14, 2015
Locket, a startup that transformed the smartphone’s boring lock screen into an engaging interface, today announced that it has been acquired for an undisclosed amount by Wish, a San Francisco–based mobile commerce platform.
Since its 2013 inception, Locket has reached more than one million users worldwide and raised $3.2 million from investors including Tyra Banks and Turner Broadcasting. It wasn’t the first startup that aimed to take over the smartphone’s lockscreen, but founder and CEO Yunha Kim did something different that absolutely impressed investors and users alike.
I had a chance to talk with Kim some while ago, and she explained the “secret recipe” she and her team used to engage users. Locket had a powerful competitor: At that time Facebook was attempting to take over Android users’ lockscreens, but, as you know, that experiment was a big failure.
To deliver a great user experience and engage users, Locket’s strategy was very simple and sharply focused: They delivered only high-quality content. Oh, and by the way, they brought ads to smartphones and, later, breaking news and other content. Fast forward to 2014 and Locket was selected as one of the “Best Apps of 2014” by Google.
Locket’s growth captured the attention of Wish and its CEO Peter Szulczewski, who saw the missions of both companies as “highly aligned”.
“Our mission and Locket’s mission are highly aligned,” he said. “We hope to benefit from Locket’s expertise in engaging users with intelligent recommendations and creating a beautiful, native mobile experience.”
Wish is valued at $3 billion after raising hundreds of millions of dollars earlier this year. The San Francisco–based startup recreates the shopping mall experience on mobile devices and currently has more than 100 million users worldwide, up from 31 million reported in June 2014.
“Wish is creating what Amazon could have been on mobile — a personalized shopping mall available in your pocket for anyone around the world,” said Kim. “I’m delighted to be joining the Wish team.”
Locket is Wish’s very first acquisition, and Kim tells me she and her team are very excited. She will join the Wish executive team as Head of Growth to lead growth initiatives and communications for Wish and its family of mobile shopping apps, which include Wish, Geek, Cute, and Mama.
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