Not only is Asia mobile-first, it’s also expanding at a rate faster than any other region in the world. It’s because of this dynamic that nearly a quarter of the region’s total media advertisement spending will be set aside for mobile marketing channels.
Digital spend in Southeast Asia alone is expected to be north of US$2 billion this year, rising to almost US$3 billion in 2020.
This represents a mammoth opportunity for adtech startups. The latest company to throw its hat into the ring is Liftoff, which announced today it’s launching in Asia with the opening of an office in Singapore.
Palo Alto-headquartered Liftoff, which raised a US$5 million series A round in February 2015, is spearheading the charge in Asia with recent hire Marc Hale, a former sales manager for Asia-Pacific at Twitter.
The service only makes money when people actually do something inside an app.
The adtech firm isn’t starting from zero: Marc explains they’re already working with 17 clients in Asia – including the likes of Grab, JollyChic, and marketing agencies Septeni and M&C Saatchi Mobile.
Liftoff’s model is different to other mobile marketing companies. It doesn’t charge clients for each app install it snares – rather, it only makes money when people actually do something inside the app. That could be an in-app purchase while playing a game, booking a hotel, or subscribing to a financial advisory service.
It also offers clients access to programmatic solutions and predictive intelligence insights.
“Mobile user acquisition is important for all apps, regardless of where in the world your business is located – but not all companies in our category are created equal,” says Marc.
The Singapore office will spearhead business development efforts in the “key markets” of Japan, China, South Korea, and India, Marc explains. He believes each market comes with its own set of cultural and linguistic differences and requires a unique strategy tailor-made for its population.
“User lifetime value and re-engagement are core themes of the conversation in certain markets [such as] Japan and Korea. On the other hand, up and coming regions [like] China and India are only just beginning to shift their thinking away from the top line new-user in favor of a new customer focus,” he says.
The Silicon Valley upstart isn’t exactly entering a niche market. There’s lot of competition lurking, including the likes of local hero Eyeota, Israel-headquartered Appsflyer, and Berlin-based behemoth Glispa.
Marc, however, remains upbeat. “Asia is full of opportunity,” he notes.