WeQ is debuting today as a mobile marketing startup focused on user acquisition and engagement services on a global scale. The company has more than $50 million in debt funding to fuel its growth and a team of more than 100.
A mobile adtech company based in Berlin and San Francisco, WeQ gets its name from a twist on IQ, shifting “I” culture to a collaborative “We” culture.
The company was founded by mobile ad veterans from Glispa, Adjust, and Hitfox, and it plans to expand using the $50 million in internal funds and debt capital. Expansion plans involve acquiring cutting-edge technologies over the next 12 to 24 months through an aggressive mergers and acquisitions strategy.
“With our unique approach that balances data with human intelligence, this strategic investment in place, and a highly knowledgeable team heading the organization, we are well-equipped to achieve our ambitious goal of becoming a key player in the ad tech industry,” said CEO Markus Malti, in a statement. “We look forward to growing our team, further expanding our reach in the U.S. through our office in San Francisco, and working with key advertisers to help them scale globally.”
The company plans to provide a mobile marketing product as an alternative to what it calls the “duopoly of Facebook and Google.” (Market researcher eMarketer found that Facebook and Google account for 60.9 percent of U.S. mobile ad revenues.)
WeQ said it will offer bespoke solutions, machine learning, and high-quality user acquisition beyond the walled gardens. The company has ambitious goals and expects to deliver several million installs a month for clients. WeQ’s mobile advertising solutions are powered by its proprietary technology, which is designed by an in-house team led by chief product officer Steffen Wachenfeld.
“Advertising needs scalable and globally replicable infrastructure and services,” Wachenfeld said in a statement. “This is why our proprietary technology is built by a team of machine learning experts, developers, and data scientists — in order to deliver the most targeted, optimized, and scalable mobile advertising solutions. This allows our clients to focus on what they do best: building great apps and growing successful brands.”
WeQ’s team includes Adjust’s Hendrik Volp, Glispa’s Bastian Quilitz, Meta Design’s Kerstin Feix, Disney’s Riccardo dal Pozzolo, Thomas Sabo’s John Schlüter, and Tim Nilsson, formerly at Glispa.
More than half of the 100 employees are data engineers, developers, and product managers. The company is launching with the WeQ Perform solution that offers extensive global reach — beyond Facebook and Google — through an exclusive network of global publisher relationships, real-time optimization technology, and protection from malicious traffic.
The company said technology is becoming more specialized due to rapid growth in the apps market, making adaptability and scalability key. WeQ believes advertisers are after more transparency and simplicity in terms of product offering and that the service component is still a major part of what they want.