Kenshoo said it will expand its operations to focus on predictive media optimization technology in products supporting China, Japan and Southeast Asia to meet demand for search and social marketing technology outside the United States.
Phased rollouts are planned for custom Chinese and Japanese-language versions of Kenshoo's platform. The company also plans to open a Singapore office, augmenting locations in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Sydney, and allowing integrated services for agencies and advertisers across the Asia-Pacific Japan (APJ) region.
Further product enhancements to support China will make Kenshoo ActiveCluster available to Baidu, China's largest search engine. The two companies have worked together since 2010. Kenshoo also enables campaign management for Japan’s largest search engine, Yahoo Japan.
Advertisers and agencies increased the amount spent on paid search in Asia-Pacific Japan through Kenshoo during the first quarter in 2014. In fact, spend climbed 19% year-over-year in the first quarter, and client revenue rose 34%. Click-through rates rose 66% YoY.
Kenshoo recently hired former Facebook Japan and Australia executive, Liam Walsh, to lead search and social sales across Southeast Asia with Singapore. The country becomes the hub and focus for search campaigns in Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand.
It took months to enable the platform to support Chinese and Japanese-language versions. It's not clear how many employees will support the company in the local markets. When asked why a subsidiary should be opened in Singapore to support the region, Kenshoo CMO Aaron Goldman said: "Singapore is fast becoming a hub in Asia for media and technology."
Kenshoo also has plans to open a subsidiary in China, which will not require a local partner to set up shop, per Goldman. Companies that want to get a company up and running in China typically require a local business partner. There are also restrictions on exporting money earned in the country for use elsewhere.
The Sequoia Capital, Arts Alliance, Tenaya Capital, and Bain Capital Ventures financially back Kenshoo, which powers search campaigns in more than 190 countries for nearly half of the Fortune 50 companies and all 10 top global ad agency networks.