Making an app is just the first piece of the puzzle. Making that app pay is the pièce de résistance. That's the wheelhouse of StartApp, a mobile advertising platform that's drawn world-wide interest from app developers keen on making a buck. Naturally, StartApp has also benefited--landing at No. 7 on this year's Inc. 5000 with $37.1 million in 2014 revenue, a 22,036 percent uptick since 2011. CEO and co-founder Gil Dudkiewicz tells Inc. how StartApp succeeded in a field that has been notoriously difficult to maneuver, and how the company's international background makes it a force to be reckoned with.
--As told to Anna Hensel.
When we started the company back in 2010, the world of mobile applications was starting to boom, but there weren't any really good solutions to monetize them. One of the things we aimed to resolve was making sure the right users were getting the right advertisement for them, one that also had the best look and feel. You can't think just about how you can make the most money. Our platform provides not only the most targeted advertising, but by far the most creative and innovative ad templates as well--it is the brains and beauty of mobile advertising.
We have 200,000 different applications that we've worked with, and in any given month we have between 5,000 and 10,000 new applications from those wishing to work with us. Many of them are from the U.S., but they also come from Europe and China. Some of our biggest customers include Warner Brothers, AliExpress, Yahoo, and Baidu. But we have thousands of app developers and advertisers that we work with around the world, many that you’ve probably never heard of.
I'm originally from Israel. I moved to the U.S. when I went to the University of California-Berkeley for grad school. SmartApp was initially founded in Israel, but we always knew we wanted to move to the U.S, and we did so a year and a half after the company launched. It wasn't at all a difficult transition. If you look at the app world today, it really has a global reach. But the biggest user base is in the U.S. and Europe, and so that's where we needed to be. Being a company with international roots from the get-go, our customers could feel from day one that we knew how to work with global clients. Ultimately, in the world of app monetization, it’s really about putting the right product in the right hands.