Media

Germany’s madvertise makes a move into the Middle East with Mobilike acquisition

Germany-based independent mobile ad network madvertise has acquired Turkish mobile-advertising company Mobilike.

Both companies are leaders in their respective markets, with madvertise delivering 2 billion monthly ad impressions across Europe (Germany, France, UK, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland) and Mobilike delivering 300 million monthly ad impressions in Turkey, covering 60 percent of that country’s mobile ad market.

The combined company will be well-positioned to begin a push into the Middle East, said Carsten Frien, the cofounder and chief executive of madvertise.

“It not only gives us access to the Turkish market, but it gives us a beachhead to the entire Middle East region,” Frien told VentureBeat. “We’re going to use our presence in Turkey as a launch pad to further territories.”

For instance, Frien said that he would be traveling to Dubai in the coming week to explore business opportunities there.

Even without the planned Middle East expansion, Turkey is an attractive market for mobile companies. With a population of 60 million people, half of which are younger than 26 and many of which are tech-savvy smartphone users, it’s a country poised on the edge of the mobile revolution. (Turkey is also an e-commerce hotspot, as VentureBeat editor-in-chief Matt Marshall discovered when he visited there last year.)

Madvertise plans to realize additional efficiencies by transferring Mobilike’s ad network, which is currently running on a third-party platform, to madvertise’s own, homegrown ad network.

“We have a very strong, German-engineered technology platform,” Frien said. It’s a real-time, automated bidding and trading platform, much like what Google offers in AdWords, except optimized for the mobile world. Automated bidding is a growing trend, cutting out packaged media deals and driving CPMs down for web as well as mobile publishers — but it delivers greater efficiency, through market mechanics, and helps keep costs down and performance up for mobile advertisers.

The technology transition will take 2 to 3 months, Frien said.

Madvertise also has a technology that enables it to target specific individuals with a high degree of accuracy without using UDIDs or other personally-identifiable information. It does that by correlating a variety of data, including GPS signals, device information, and wireless tower information, to make educated guesses about specific individuals’ identity, allowing it to retarget advertising based on prior behavior.  The technology can target individuals with 95-98 percent accuracy, Frien said.

Madvertise can also target mobile advertisements based on geographic location — for instance, delivering ads only to users within a 1 mile radius of a Starbucks.

Madvertise has 75 employees and is based in Berlin; Mobilike has 15 employees and is based in Istanbul. Madvertise has raised two rounds of capital: a first round led by Early Bird Capital that was in the “single digit Euro millions” and a second round in 2011, led by Blumberg Capital, for $10 million. The company is now hoping to close a “very significant” third round, of $15-20 million, for the fourth quarter of this year. This is madvertise’s first acquisition.

Terms of the deal were not immediately available.

Photo of Carsten Frien courtesy madvertise.


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