Mixpanel and the market for startup analytics

Mixpanel launched Revenue Analytics today. For a long time, Mixpanel provided a very generic event-tracking system, allowing customers to centralize tracking across systems and channels. But over the past year, their product development has accelerated:

  • Retention 2.0: basic cohort analysis capabilities and visualizations (Jan-12)
  • Flow: a free tool for path analysis (Apr-12)
  • People Analytics: drill down to individual user actions and basic outbound messaging (Jul-12)
  • Engage: more robust notification functionality and marketing tools (Oct-12)
  • Activity Feed: timeline visualization for individual users (Nov-12)
  • Revenue Analytics: more cohort analysis tools like lifetime value, giving more insights into marketing mix (Jan-13)

Some of these launches were new and others were existing features repackaged but, taken as a whole, they bring Mixpanel into direct competition with several other leaders in the market for startup analytics. Most of these competitors are converging toward similar features that target product/marketing practitioners and not necessarily analytics or engineering teams. They are also increasingly going after the same customers:

  • KISSmetrics: founded in 2008 by Neil Patel and Hiten Shah; they take a “people not pageviews” approach.
  • Mixpanel: founded in 2009 by Suhail Doshi and Tim Trenfen; original focus on tracking and reporting now shifting toward actionable analytics. 
  • Chartbeat: founded in 2009 and now led by Tony Haile; extremely focused on real-time analytics and strong penetration of the publishing industry with their Chartbeat Publishing product.
  • RJMetrics: founded in 2009 by Robert J. Moore and Jake Stein based on their work together at Insight Venture Partners; focused on ecommerce marketing analytics.
  • Custora: founded in 2011 by Jon Pospischil and Corey Pearson to product insights from transactional data; heavy focus on predictive customer LTV calculations and customer segmentation.

While this is only a small slice of the analytics marketplace—think Google Analytics Premium, BigQuery, GoodData and other established players in the enterprise BI space—it’s where much of the product innovation is happening. For more reading, see Des Traynor’s write-up on the future of analytics which compares more platforms than are covered here.