Posted on Monday, Apr 6th 2015
According to a BI Intelligence report, mobile advertising will be the fastest growing digital advertising format in the US. Mobile display ads are expected to grow 96% annually over the period 2013 through 2018. Mobile programmatic ad revenues, including ads sold through real-time bidding will account for 43% of US mobile display-related ad revenue in 2018. Billion Dollar Unicorn club member Airpush is a profitable and a financially sound player assisting with this fast-growth mobile advertising market.
Los Angeles-based Airpush was founded in 2010 by entrepreneur and mobile industry veteran Asher Delug. Airpush began as a mobile ad network that helped connect app developers who have inventory or space in their app with mobile advertisers who want to buy that ad space. Today, they have over 150,000 apps and cater to some of the world’s leading advertisers. Their inventory reaches more than 10 billion ad impressions per month. Airpush is ranked second in the 2014 Forbes list of Most Promising Companies.
Airpush’s claim to fame is their opt-in, push notification-based ad available in the notification bar of Android devices. The opt-in allows Airpush to collect a full list of apps on a user’s phone anonymously and send the user suggestions for apps that they would like. The notification tool also allowed Airpush to become the only avenue for advertisers to monetize places like wallpapers, themes, and launchers through advertising. Users were able to trade demographic data for free wallpapers, ringtones, and other content, and developers were able to have an ad-based option for monetizing these apps.
Airpush does not disclose its detailed financials. Available market reports do reveal that the company has seen strong revenue growth. For their first year of business, they brought in $9.5 million in revenues. Revenues increased in 2012 to $47 million and the company was trending at annual revenues of more than $150 million for the year 2013. They have also been profitable for a while.
Airpush attributes its profitability to their offshore center. Of the 150 employees they had in 2013, over 110 of them were in their Bangalore office. The offshore office cost them a sixth of what it would have cost in the US.while ensuring that they had good talent. Their profitability has helped them remain independent so far. They have been bootstrapped till now. They have not taken any outside funding and don’t appear to be scouting for an IPO soon. I do think that the company is a good acquisition target for the likes of Yahoo who could do with improving their monetization capabilities. Last year, Israeli software company Perion was looking to acquire Airpush for an estimated $175 million.
More investigation and analysis of Unicorn companies can be found in my latest Entrepreneur Journeys book, Billion Dollar Unicorns. Unicorns will also be discussed with some special guests during our 1M/1M Roundtable programs over the next few weeks. To be a part of the conversation, please register here. The term Unicorn was coined in a TechCrunch article by Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures.
This segment is a part in the series : Billion Dollar Unicorns
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