Madgic

MADGIC

Mobile has now become “the priority” in advertising, according to Paul Coggins, vice president of mobile at EBuzzing. His recent Guardian editorial will have gone down well with Olivier Chouraki and his team at Madgic, who’ve been making strides in the field since 2007 – if not always under the Madgic banner.

“By next year, we expect to see mobile as a key part of every brand’s advertising strategy,” argues Coggins. Chouraki, CEO of Madgic since its inception seven years back, agrees – but adds the caveat that advertisers need a little time to be fully convinced. “Before getting a good return from their advertising campaigns, (advertisers) need well-designed smartphones and tablet apps, or a fully functional mobile-optimized website,” he says. “They need a set of banners for various mobile devices and they need to gather some experience using mobile targeting.”

Thankfully for Chouraki, that’s exactly what his team has become a leader in. Madgic’s mobile advertising optimization platform has delivered upwards of ten billion ad impressions on a truly global scale, penetrating 200 countries with a 90% fill rate and a 0.1 second response time. Chouraki’s own experience in software spans almost two decades, having worked in the automotive, recruiting, and telecommunications industries. So it’s from a position of experience and authority, he lists some of the challenges mobile still faces today.

“I think that mobile is complex, and I think that mobile is different from PC,” he says. “mPayment and mCommerce are still immature, and the mobile advertising value chain still lacks fluidity and critical mass. We have been a part of it since 2007 and have seen tremendous growth and progress, but we are still at the beginning.

“Maybe the very fast growth of the mobile industry is precisely the reason why mobile advertising is still immature,” adds Chouraki. “The rest of the economy couldn’t adapt as fast.”

Madgic itself was not born of a standalone business concept. It was the brainchild of a group of advertising executives who were frustrated with how badly mobile was being optimized. Research began in 2009 to find the solution, funded by Chouraki, his friends, and family, which provided 70% of funding. Other cash came from advisors, with the final ten supplied by angels.

In March 2011, Madgic had its platform, which returned $120,000 that year. The following year, Madgic produced $400,000 – and in 2013, the company made $1.1 million. “Over the last 5 years, we have received about €1 million from business angels and the team, but our funding mostly comes from the business itself,” adds Chouraki.

Following Madgic’s success at Red Herring Top 100 Europe in Amsterdam, Madgic will be trying to expand into other markets, and to add partners to the business. A funding target of $2.7 million has been set, so that the company can scale more easily.

As Chouraki puts it, Madgic is in for an exhausting 12 months: “We’ll keep increasing the mobile advertising revenue of our publishers: sourcing more and better mobile advertising campaigns from even more demand-side partners; increasing the value of our inventory by collecting more targeting data; supporting new advertising formats; opening up offices in NYC, Singapore, and Tel Aviv, and setting up data centers in Europe and Asia, closer to some of our partners; adapting to the requirements of digital media companies coming to mobile; designing a new self-service portal; automating and staffing our back office and customer support.”