Today (5 May 2020) Verve Group is formed, unifying recent Media and Games Invest acquisitions; Verve, the location-based mobile marketing platform based in New York and Carlsbad (CA), PubNative, a global mobile ad exchange, and Applift, a global mobile growth performance marketing expert, both of the latter two based in Berlin. All three companies are unified under the Verve Group brand to further strengthen the companies' position in the global mobile marketing industry. By consolidating the teams and platforms, the three well- established mobile AdTech companies within the Media and Games Invest (MGI) Group focus on joining forces and moving forward together under one advertising platform.
Verve Group will be managed by versatile and industry experienced veterans:
- Sameer Sondhi (chief business officer); will lead global Supply sales. Sameer joins from InMobi and has 20+ years of experience in the mobile industry across mobile content data service, media, and messaging, working with operators and media companies. Previously Sameer held executive positions at a.o. InMobi, Opera Media, GroundTruth, Infospace, and LiveWire.
- Mark Fruehan (chief revenue officer); will lead global Demand sales. Mark previously worked for Verve Wireless Inc. and has 30+ years of experience in the mobile and ad-tech industry. Previously Mark held executive positions at a.o. Opera, AdMarvel, and Verisign.
- Ionut Ciobotaru (chief product officer); will lead technology and product. Ionut founded PubNative and has 15+ years of experience in the ad-tech industry previously working for a.o. Applift, Weebo, and EA.
- Remco Westermann (chief executive officer); MGI Group CEO and Chairman and Gamigo CEO.
The new Verve Group is positioned as a data-first brand performance ad platform. Verve Group has a team of over 200 employees in 20+ offices worldwide and its offering includes branded campaigns, brand performance campaigns, and performance-first campaigns. Verve Group works with most of the top Fortune 500 global digital brands along with many smaller brands. With ample owned and operated gaming supply as well as over 500 premium publishers connected to Verve Group’s platform, including mediation to major walled gardens, the company advocates an open garden approach.
Verve Group has a strong technology base with a full-stack mobile in-app ad platform based on a unified supply cloud, with a widely deployed SDK base. Its state of the art full-stack location-based marketing technology includes location-context audiences and highly curated PMPs, along with innovative features such as in-app bidding, an open-source SDK, CTV, DOOH support and TAG compliance. Verve Group holds over 20 patents with a strong focus on areas such as location context audience, in-app bidding, and AI optimisation algorithms. Data management, CCPA/GDPR compliance, and brand safety are other important focus areas.
Sameer Sondhi says “We are seeing a consolidation in the current market where only those that invest and have strong technology will be winners. I decided to join Verve Group because of its powerhouse combination of technologies and the current team of industry experts. With Media and Games Invest already having acquired several prime AdTech companies, the group now has a superior worldwide combination of technology, customers, and supply. Also - even more important - Verve Group focuses on growth, looking at hiring sales people across the globe, investing in technology and targeting further acquisitions.”
The group now unified as Verve Group is on a good growth track, investing in further development. Programmatic, and especially mobile advertising, are generally strong growth segments with approx 15% YoY average growth. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, revenues are under pressure within the whole market. Verve Group, however, is relatively well off with its strong focus on performance and brand performance in gaming and eCommerce, and with its global footprint. Advertisers in Korea, China, and Japan are already increasing budgets again. With M&As resulting in revenue synergies and cost improvement integration potentials of the acquired companies, Verve Group is well on track to grow, supported by hiring additional sales people and investing in technology.
Maor Sadra, the current CEO of Applift who will be leaving the company after six successful years, says; “I'm grateful for the time and the team at Applift over the years. It was an incredible ride and now it's time for me to take the entrepreneurial path, leaving as Applift joins hands with its synergetic sister companies as part of the MGI group of companies.”