Fyber - Berlin's Foothold in Mobile Ad-Tech Market

Fyber (formerly SponsorPay) is a mobile ad-tech company based here in Berlin. Business is almost evenly split between the U.S. and European continents giving it a balanced and broad base while leaving open the possibility of growth in other markets. Fyber was acquired by RNTS Media back in October 2014 for $190 million. When hundreds of millions are changing hands, it is a good sign something big is going on. Fyber has managed to stay under the radar for a long time, whether that is because of the name change from SponsorPay delayed recognition, or simply due to the nature of the behind-the-scenes business that they are in, matters little.

Fyber is here in a big way. Mobile revenue is exploding, as Facebook and Google have shown. In fact, 90% of Facebook's growth and almost 70% of revenue has been from mobile, indicating that Fyber's jump from desktop to mobile a few years ago, was the right move. Trending towards astounding growth, the entire mobile sector is an exciting place to be right now.

The company is not only set to increase revenue, but increase payrolls. While the goal for growth in 2014 was 60 employees Mr. Lassalle estimates the company reached that goal of “55 to 60” but that they are always “looking for great people”. Fyber will undoubtedly grow much bigger, and attract the high-paying, skilled jobs that Berlin needs. It is well beyond the bootstrapping startup phase, and can wait to pick up high quality employees when they see fit. Mr. Lassalle was also quick to point out the “favorable cost structure of Berlin” as a key advantage of the city, along with the artistic scene that brings creativity and ideas. Berlin will be an attractive labor market for a long time to come, but it is the established companies that will be positioned best to seize the opportunities presented. Fyber certainly fits the bill.

The merger of Fyber with RNTS Media that happened in October 2014, was praised by Mr. Lassalle as progress in “stability and standardization”. Fyber will certainly need that in a crowded market, yet it is well placed to complement Google Admob and DoubleClick, Facebook and Twitter's offerings and InMobi's platform. While the big three of Facebook, Google and Twitter, control a large part of the mobile advertising sphere, Fyber feels confident that they “still have a large part of the cake available to work with” out of that giant—and growing—mobile ecosystem.

Mobile app companies use Fyber to monetize apps for their work allowing new and improved versions to be built with operating system updates and most of the time the remaining revenue is funneled back in to the app development to churn out entirely new games. Chances are you have been using apps that had Fyber backing, such as games by Glu and Pixelberry Studios. Many people see ads as annoying but they are certainly there for a reason, it benefits everyone involved.

Arsenia Nikolaeva, communications and events manager for Fyber, also explained how Fyber wants to develop talent right here in Berlin, by supporting groups such as Rails Girls and Summer of Code. She organizes events to help foster a sense of community and help get more people educated about coding. We need more women in IT, we need more minorities and underrepresented groups, we need more youth and emerging talent. It's good to see companies who care about development of employees and not just thinking of the bottom line. Fyber is proud of the diversity it has, with employees from over 40 countries, and many different backgrounds. We need more diversity here, every city does. Diversity brings new perspectives and new ideas. That is the attitude Berlin needs; eagerness, both those eager to help, and those eager to learn.

Daniel Whitfield is interested in all things startup, business, and technological in Berlin. When he's not geeking out he likes to enjoy the food and spectacle of Berlin. He can be reached at Danielw1@email.arizona.edu
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