Avazu is a performance-based mobile ad network that allows ad buyers to get connected with mobile publishers from across the globe. Ralph Sas is the CEO of Avazu Europe and setup the first Avazu office in Amsterdam last year and has gone on to establish operations in Berlin as well as taking the brand into other international markets. Established in 2009 in Germany, Avazu setup its headquarters in Shanghai China the same year and secured $48 million of Series A financing from Banyan Capital and other investors. Avazu Holding consists of three business units: Avazu Inc, a global cross-device performance advertising company with proprietary technologies for programmatic advertising. Teebik, a global game publisher and aFund a strategic investment arm focusing on seed- to early-stage startups. We caught up with Ralph to find out about Avazu Europe’s 1st year anniversary and what lies ahead for for 2015.
You are celebrating the 1st year since Avazu Europe opened it’s doors – why did you decide to hold a party to celebrate?
We had a very successful first year, from starting on the 1st of February in a single desk office in Amsterdam to being with a team of 16 experienced professionals spread across Berlin and Amsterdam offices less then a year later, we felt it was the right time to celebrate with our partners who made it all possible.
What have been your biggest achievements in the last year?
Recruiting the right people for the right tasks has been the biggest challenge and therefore the biggest achievement too. You need highly motivated and talented staff in order to build strong partnerships from scratch and keep them alive and profitable in this fast moving environment, so the biggest achievement of 2014 is getting the teams set up and having them work closely together with not only each other, but also our Shanghai HQ and new partners across the globe. And of course being and staying profitable from day 1.
What have been the biggest challenges in taking and branding a successful Chinese mobile advertising company into international markets?
Avazu was already a household name among the more advanced ad-tech companies across Europe. The major challenges for us lay in penetrating US, Russia and Latin America. We’ve been highly successful in Latin America and the US, and are now starting to crack open Russia, we just added two native speaking mobile professionals to put more pressure on this market.
What do you think Avazu in particular brings to the table?
We’re very all round and experienced in all assets off mobile advertising, with having one of the first mobile DSPs and mobile affiliate platforms (Avazu APX) in the world, we create ourown mobile games, apps and mobile content offers so we have a view on all angles . Next to that having our own Google and FB media buying teams means we can help grow or kickstart clients in every aspect of mobile advertising in any geo.
What sort of clients are you working with and who are you looking to reach out to?
We work with a very broad spectrum of clients, from major gaming and app companies to one man operation media buyers, we’re reaching out to advertisers, media buyers and agencies, who work on all the different performance advertising models.
What do you think the big trends are going to be in mobile advertising and app marketing for 2015?
Native ads and ecommerce will see an even bigger rise on mobile this year, since we’re adding more and more options for retargeting consumers on mobile, their engagement will grow, Avazuis anticipating and progressing on this trend with the RTB solution for our DSP.
What mobile devices do you use?
iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini.
What are your favourite apps?
My most used are Taxi.Eu, Alien Blue and the Rabo App which is a Dutch banking app.
Will you buy an Apple Watch?
At the moment I like my classic watches too much to switch over.