Emerging TechnologyMobileStartMeApp and Opera Launch in Singapore; Vserv.mobi Expands in Malaysia and Vietnam

StartMeApp and Opera Launch in Singapore; Vserv.mobi Expands in Malaysia and Vietnam

Mobile advertising updates in Asia Pacific.

Singapore continues to be the preferred location for mobile advertising vendors expanding into Asia Pacific.

StartMeApp, a mobile ad network from Latin America, has expanded into Asia Pacific with the appointment of John Fennessy as business development manager based in Singapore. It will be competing with other mobile ad networks in the region such as InMobi, Millennial Media, and Amobee.

StartMeApp declined to comment about its competitors but says its strength is in bringing fresh content inventory through strong relationships with major content aggregators in the global marketplace such as Buongiorno, TIMwe, and Neomobile, for example.

The mobile ad network said it has been successful in distributing content for clients across the region through a variety of mobile carriers, third-party exchanges, content publishers, and app stores. Some of its partners include China Mobile, China Telecom, Vodafone India, Tata Telecom, NTT Japan, Singtel, Starhub Singapore, and Dtac Thailand among others.

According to its AdSmart quarterly report, Asia Pacific accounted for close to 10 percent of its 10 billion monthly ad impressions worldwide in 2012, a year-on-year growth rate of 158 percent. As such, the region has been identified as an important market for the ad network.

On the supply-side of the business, StartMeApp has several global brand and agency clients from other regions that are eager to use its platform to enter Asia Pacific, which is another reason for relocating its European business development manager to Singapore.

In the newly created position, Fennessy is responsible for managing existing client relations and building new business relationships with advertisers, agencies, and mobile apps and content providers across Asia Pacific.

Established in 2011, StartMeApp has delivered brand campaigns for Audi, Air France, Fox, Peugeot, Microsoft, and Maybelline.

Opera Software recently opened its regional headquarters in Singapore led by Fabrizio Caruso, senior vice president for Asia. The Oslo-listed firm already has presence in North Asia – China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan and has seen huge growth for its operator business in the rest of the region in recent years.

The Singapore hub will provide quicker support to its partners and “fuel the mobile Internet and ad economy in Asia Pacific,” said Caruso.

He will work with operators, agencies, and brand advertisers to access its mobile Internet user base and develop the company’s ad business in Asia markets.

“Mobile advertising no longer means sending intrusive and irrelevant ads to a consumer’s phone; instead, it’s about reaching the relevant audience and the ability to track results through various mobile content, such as websites, apps, mobile app stores, and even the browser itself,” he noted.

The regional office will house its operator and advertising business, technical support, and marketing activities across the region.

Opera claims that it generates more than 60 billion monthly impressions to 13,000 sites and apps, which reach out to more than 300 million people on its browsers worldwide.

In Asia, it has partnered with 17 top-tier mobile operators to roll out co-branded Opera Mini browsers.

Vserv.mobi, a mobile ad network specializing in emerging markets, solidifies its commercial presence in Southeast Asia with the appointments of Max Ku in Malaysia and Nguyen Quang Duy in Vietnam. Ku, previously digital sales manager at Media Prima Digital, is tasked to lead brand sales and focus on building strategic partnerships with premium publishers across Malaysia in his new role as business development director.

Based in Ho Chi Minh, Nguyen is responsible for leading the rollout of brand solutions for advertisers as well as building partnerships with premium publishers in Vietnam. The business development director has 10 years of experience in digital marketing including working at Effective Measure and Dentsu Media.