Last year, global mobile advertising spending rocketed 105%, according to an eMarketer report. That placed the market value at $17.96 billion. Next year that figure will rise another 75% to $31.45 billion, meaning that mobile will account for a quarter of all digital advertising spending worldwide. An additional report by Global Industry Analytics claims that the same market will reach $83.4 billion by 2020, driven by giants such as Facebook and Google – and the ferocious increase in mobile penetration in established and developing markets. Now, even Somali goatherds make deals with their smartphones: when it comes to mobile, growth is astounding.
AdQuota is a Denmark-headquartered firm with a pan-European outlook. It already has offices across Scandinavia, U.K., Poland and the Baltic states, where it helps publishers of mobile websites and applications generate revenue streams from mobile publications – promising to create rich and engaging mobile experiences. AdQuota reaches 35 million readers and app users per month.
Little surprise, then, that Copenhagen’s VC giant Northcap saw fit to invest $3.5 million in AdQuota this January, which CEO Michael Buch Sandager claims will help it make acquisitions across the continent and become attractive to outside investors. The firm currently employs 60 people, and recently acquired Spanish mobile ad network MobiTargets.
“Organization is key,” says Buch Sandager, whose company’s $15 million revenue this year has outstripped last’s by three times. “The way I see it, in the Euro ad space, there’s bound to be consolidation. There are a few companies doing what we’re doing, and have started doing acquisitions across the world. They have more money so we have to be smarter than them! This consolidation will continue for the next two years, and we want to lead that consolidation strategy.”
The company is close to breaking even, claims Buch Sandager, and day-to-day operations are funded internally. He is looking to the premium space, rather than the performance space, for optimal growth. Buch Sandager says that mobile ad players in Europe are usually small and limited to one country. “But it’s difficult to be small in advanced tech,” he adds, “so many of these companies grow to a certain size then realize it’s hard to be alone.”
AdQuota’s strategy of premium-only, rich media-driven services is not alone in the European market. Companies such as Adsmobi and Smaato are already taking advantage of the $1 billion market across Europe’s ‘Big Five’ – the U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Germany. But Buch Sandager is adamant that his company’s strategy of acquisition and premium offerings can corner that market, and soon. “We’re providing a revenue stream for publishers – innovation on the high end.”
“We want to create a pan-European company, then we can be attractive to a U.S. buyer who wants to enter the Euro market,” adds Buch Sandager. “In the U.S. there are 25-30 companies doing the same, and they’re all struggling. Mergers are occurring everywhere. In Europe we’re talking to a lot of different companies. So U.S. companies will have to buy to enter the market here.” With investments coming in and companies being bought across the continent, AdQuota will be hoping it can pounce on an industry experiencing an unprecedented boom.