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Glispa, the mobile performance marketing and ad tech company, grew rapidly in 2016, as mobile ad spending overtook desktop spending for the first time. During 2016, Glispa added more than 300 advertisers, doubled its employees to 250, and made a major investment in new technology.
Gary Lin, chief executive of Berlin-based Glispa, said in an interview with VentureBeat that the company expects to close the year with record profits. One of the biggest areas of growth is native advertising — where ads seem like a natural part of the content that they’re touting. In the U.S., native ads grew more than 50 percent — in terms of spending — in 2016. Overall, Glispa’s plan is to expand in both demand-side and supply-side advertising.
“It’s a heavy year of reinvestment,” Lin said. “We have great momentum.”
Ecommerce firm Market Tech Holdings bought a majority stake in Glispa in 2015 for $77 million. Glispa grew in part through multiple acquisitions, but it also had significant product launches during the year. The company is running mobile advertising campaigns in 187 countries, and its tech and data science investments will help accelerate both the demand and supply sides of the business. That means it helps advertisers reach the right audiences, and it also helps publishers fill their ad space.
In 2016, the company completed three major acquisitions. In March, Glispa bought the SDK mediation company MoneyTap, which was integrated with Glispa’s own newly launched native monetization platform Ampiri to provide native monetization solutions to publishers. Ampiri is partnered with a number of networks, including Facebook Audience Network, Google’s AdMob, Baidu, and Imobi.
In May, the company also purchased Brazil’s mobile ad marketing firm Mobils. Then, in September, Glispa bought native programmatic exchange Avocarrot as an in-house supply source for ad mediation.
Glispa has built all of its proprietary operational tech with an emphasis on its in-house campaign, analytics, and optimization management tool. The past year saw a huge reinvestment in the company’s custom BI-Knowledge System, which supports operational activities across all business units.
In August, Glispa launched Voltu, a custom-built social influencer network, to connect global advertisers with the rising social influencers who promote apps on a performance basis.
Glispa also added a new team of eight senior data science experts, who analyze the more than 1.5 billion user profiles in the Glispa Audience Platform, which fuels mobile solutions with relevant persona data.
Glispa continues to focus and invest in core markets, including the U.S., Europe, China, India, Brazil, South Korea, and Indonesia. In June, Glispa opened a new office in Southeast Asia to add a local presence to its local expertise in high-growth, high-potential Indonesia, where the company has been active since 2013.
Lin said the company has about 190 people in Berlin, but it has added people in other regions, too. He said Glispa is strengthening both its sales and services divisions, as well as adding to remote locations. By the end of 2016, Glispa expects to have about 280 employees.
As for 2017, Lin said, “We are hoping to release a lot of new products on the supply side over the coming quarters.”
Facebook and Google are Glispa’s prime competition.
“A lot of the competition has disappeared,” Lin said. “We are mindful of Facebook and Google, but there is very little competition below them. We see a wide-open opportunity.”
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