Avazu is one of a new breed of app advertising companies combining Chinese technology and investment with Western business development and marketing. They recently raised a major round of funding totalling $48m and are rapidly becoming one of the key players in the app advertising industry, driving significant volumes of installs, clicks and conversions globally.
They recently recruited Ralph Sas as CEO of their European operation based out of Amsterdam. We caught up with him to discuss Avazu’s plans for international expansion, their positioning in the market and views on mobile advertising more generally.
You’ve recently joined Avazu to open their European office – what was interesting about this project for you?
I’ve been working with Avazu as a client for over 4 years now, and the way Avazu has grown in these past years, and profiled themselves is very impressive, I think Avazu has a lot of potential to grow in the EU and US market, I’m excited to brand Avazu on this side of the globe and with Avazu being well know over all Asia already, we are working towards a true global reach, that’s what really sparked my interest.
What services does Avazu offer in Europe?
Avazu Europe offers purely performance advertising based on CPA and CPI, with a strong focus on mobile.
What areas are you going to be focusing on in your new role?
I’ll be focusing on growing Avazu’s inventory , this means attracting both advertisers and affiliates, and due to the time difference, we at Avazu Europe are the perfect portal from Asia to Europe and the US and of course the other way around.
What sort of clients is Avazu working with and who are you looking to target in future?
All advertisers interested in effective online performance advertising, both for mobile and PC, especially from the verticals: utility apps, mobile and browser games, health and software.
There seem to be a large number of app advertising startups combining Chinese with Western teams (App Annie, Appflood) – what is it about this combination that works so well?
The Chinese work attitude combined with the European way of doing business makes it a strong combination attractive for clients looking for a global reach, next to that combining the Chinese technical capabilities, with again the European way of doing business is a very strong match who will keep proving itself it the upcoming years.
Avazu recently raised a large funding round – what are you going to be using the investment for?
We will use the money mainly to expand our operation and product teams as well as for strategic investments and m&a in the mobile area.
What does Avazu look for when considering which new countries to expand into and where do you think you’ll be focusing on next?
The presence of local advertisers, availability of talented staff and of course timezones. We will expand our EU operations into Germany first, we’re in the process of opening up Berlin Mitte in 2 months from now. Next area is the US where we’ll be opening up either San Fransisco or LA. From these offices we will focus on the Latam market as well and look at the possibilities of opening up in Rio – Brasil.
What are the main trends you see in the mobile advertising market right now?
Utility Apps are still attracting the bulk of the traffic, but due to new Google regulations we see a strong current towards Mobile Games
What’s your favorite app and favorite mobile game?
My favourite App is a dutch football app called VI, my favourite game is Pocket Empire.
What mobile devices do you use?
iPhone 5s, iPad Mini and iPad Air.
What other companies do you admire in the mobile industry and why?
I admire King, Zinga and 360 due their massive growth in the past few years and their global presence.
Thanks Ralph and good luck with the new role. It’s great to see new networks and companies succeeding in the market and investing in growth. Whilst the likes of Facebook and Twitter have been making a lot of the running in the app advertising market of late, there’s clearly still room for independent app advertising players and service providers, including Avazu.