In a recent financial statement for H1 2019, Mobvista revealed that their total revenue came in at $225.1 million (USD) for the first half of the year – a 22% increase when compared to the same period in 2018. Their adjusted net profit also grew by 65% to $17.4 million (USD), and their adjusted EBITDA grew by 75.8% to $23.0 million (USD).

So then, the question on everyone’s mind is how did they achieve this? The answer: better programmatic advertising.

For those who don’t know, programmatic advertising makes it possible to buy and place ads in less than a second, usually done through an exchange or DSP. And Mobvista has been a leading force in developing this technology over the past decade, especially in Asia. Co-Founder and President of Mobvista, Clement Cao, provided this recent statement:

“We’ve always been focusing on how our technology can add value across the whole marketing lifecycle of a mobile app. In the first half of 2019, our programmatic advertising products remained the pillars of our business, letting us develop multiple cloud-based platforms offering machine learning, distributed computing, and elastic cluster management. These not only empower our core business offering, but also give us the opportunity to further expand into new services.”

We asked Mobvista to elaborate in more detail, and this is what we learned:

1. Mobvista placed more inventory with fewer incentives

More and more apps have been integrating Mobvista’s SDK, with over 11,000 apps now connected to their ad platform, from more than 2,400 apps developers using their partner network.

So, what this means for Mobvista is that they’ve been able to offer their customers access to high-quality inventory at a large scale. Interestingly, however, they spent less of their programmatic revenue on incentives for new customers, which was reduced from 10.3% in the second half of 2018, to 7.5% in H1 2019.

2. They grew revenue outside of China

Mobvista has had a strong and established presence in APAC over the past few years, enabling the company to grow its network globally and focus more attention on new markets. The greatest area of growth seen was in EMEA, where their revenue more than doubled to $34.3 million USD – now reaching 15% of their revenue total revenue.

We also found out that they’ve been partnering with different types of mobile app publishers, expanding their network from games, utilities, lifestyle, news, through to e-commerce, social media, and video. Their strongest performing vertical is now gaming apps (no surprise there), overtaking social and content-based apps. Ultimately, having a wider network of integrated apps in different regions has had a profound effect on Mobvista’s business model.

3. They continued to invest in R&D and AI development

Mobvista has continued to invest a large amount of money into R&D, specifically AI and machine learning, as these technologies play a big part in the evolution of programmatic advertising. And although they may have not seen the results of this research immediately, this is surely something that will benefit them and the programmatic industry in the long run.

That being said, they were able to make some changes this year that contributed to their most recent success. In H1 2019, Mobvista applied big data computing, machine learning and elastic cluster management into the development of their business, which in turn powered their programmatic advertising services more effectively. And at the end of H1 2019, the company’s server costs did increase slightly by 1.0% YoY, while the programmatic advertising revenue increased by 43.7% YoY. Not a bad return on investment.

And they’re still growing…

The last major change Mobvista made this year was move their capabilities into a more mature technical solution: namely the Amazon Web Services Partner Network (AWS APN). And as an APN technology partner that responds to the commercial appeal of AWS’s customers, they’re now able to expand even further into new fields of business, bringing their technology to more developers around the world.

So it’s pretty clear that they have some pretty big plans for the future of programmatic advertising, especially around leveraging AI and machine learning. If you’re interested in learning more about the company, you can read the press release here.

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