China's mobile advertising network AppFlood began Tuesday rolling out a real-time bidding ad exchange and demand-side platform. The founder of the parent company, PapayaMobile, believes it's the first to be engineered and launched in Beijing.
Few companies in China offer mobile, real-time bidding, according to PapayaMobile Founder and CEO Si Shen. "Companies from outside of China looking to target the market on mobile often hit roadblocks, as ad networks in the country don't have the targeting capabilities needed, anti-malware detection services, and most importantly the volume of smartphone users AppFlood offers," she said. "RTB is very new in China -- however there's increasing demand, as advertisers want targeted, high-quality users."
Shen believes the company's mobile demand-side platform (DSP) and ad exchange RTB platform can solve that problem. It connects brands to a large volume of users through the AppFlood ad exchange, and in turn, connects to SSPs in China.
PapayaMobile AppFlood looks to bridge the gap from East to West, which launches with partner OpenX. Today it connects advertising serving more than 1.5 billion monthly impressions, and works with more than 10,000 app developers. The company claims its social gaming user network has more than 127 million users. Amazon Web Services supports the RTB platform.
Shen's four-year stint at Google began in the U.S., where after three years she moved to the Beijing office to complete another before starting PapayaMobile. And while it's not uncommon for former Googlers to foster startups, some venture capitalists and Wall Street analysts have not kept track on the number of entrepreneurs who got their start at Google rather than in a garage. Perhaps they should.
When asked what she took away from Google to start a mobile company and then a mobile RTB platform to support advertisers in Beijing, Shen said "the very question I answered was the very one that landed me the job at Google. The question had to do with the fact that I knew, eventually, I wanted to start my own tech company, but I needed to get some business and product management experience first. I gained valuable business skills during my time at Google, and those skills helped me get PapayaMobile off the ground."
About 100 PapayaMobile employees support the 400 million unique smartphone users across the globe. Between September 2013 and February 2014, the company grew revenue about 384%.