HitFox Targets Mobile Advertising with Datamonk and apploop Deals

By David Knight |

The last week or so has certainly been eventful for the HitFox group – having announced a €15 million profit and bought out investors including Team Europe, it has now revealed two new deals involving an acquisition and, from last year, a €1m investment.

Describing itself as an incubator for companies in the big data, advertising and game distribution spaces, HitFox – founded by Jan Beckers, Hanno Fichtner and Tim Koschella in 2011 – has snapped up mobile targeting platform Datamonk, which enables advertisers to reach specific audiences at scale, for an undisclosed price.

Berlin-based Datamonk, also founded in 2011, collects, aggregates, and analyses more than a trillion data points on over a million mobile apps, and can use this information to put several hundred million mobile devices around the world into specific segments based on user details such as age and gender. This information can be used for better targeting adverts, specifically for mobile real-time bidding (RTB).

Thus a platform might offer advertisers a package of similar users, whose data set interests particular companies – males in their 40s with high-value phone contracts who pass through airports frequently, for example, could be appealing to an airline like Lufthansa, who then buys the package and their ads are sent to the devices. With RTB, this process happens within the time it takes to load the ad.

Jan Beckers, also the CEO of the HitFox Group, said that the amount of mobile ads served through RTB exchanges would increase form 10 to 50 percent in the next three years: “We initially got to value Datamonk’s performance and potential in this market as one of their customers. With Datamonk joining the group, we are now excited to be at the forefront of this development.”

Datamonk’s founders – Sebastian Sujka, Gary Merrett and Thorsten Bleich – will stay at the helm of the company with their team of 12.

The other move just revealed by HitFox was to invest in apploop, a mobile user acquisition platform which focuses on optimising life-time value (LTV) at a guaranteed cost per install (CPI) for non-gaming verticals. The company was incubated by HitFox, Stefan Benndorf and Hugo Gersanois in 2013 with €1m in seed capital, and launched this January. It is now generating revenues in the mid six-figures through campaigns for 30 advertisers in 50 countries, in verticals including e-commerce, media and travel.

HitFox Group COO Tim Koschella said: “The mobile ad industry is still only at the beginning of a decade of massive growth. While games still dominate the mobile performance advertising market, 2014 will be the year where non-gaming apps will start to unfold their full potential.”

There is plenty of competition in the mobile advertising space – madvertise is also in Berlin, for example. Yet growth is the order of the day, with the HitFox Group planning to co-found or acquire up to four more companies this year.