FreakOut, a Japanese demand-side platform (DSP), received the green light to issue an IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Mothers Index on June 24. The estimated initial offering price is $19 per share, or about $120 million.
AdExchanger spoke with Yugo Asato, CEO and co-founder of the mobile DSP Dobleas (a FreakOut spin-off in 2012), about the role of a mobile DSP and the company's road map.
AdExchanger: What sets your mobile DSP apart from your competitors?
YUGO ASATO: First, we have a mobile DMP built into our DSP. There are many mobile DSPs, but not all offer both capabilities. We are also launching a new product in Q4 that's a mobile in-store attribution solution. Also, there's our ads API, which lets you build new technologies using our platform's functionalities.
What about your statistical ID? How does it enable you to do cross-device ad targeting?
It's very similar to what other companies are doing. You use variables that you can take from a mobile device like the IP address, app usage data and time of day to create a unique identifier without using anyone's personal information. We also have a DMP pixel that you place on your website and we can aggregate and compare that with the unique ID to re-engage the same users in the mobile space.
Where does your audience data come from?
Our DMP has the client's first-party data as well as third-party data. We integrate with several third-party data aggregators like Neustar, BlueKai and AdMobius (acquired by Lotame).
What percentage of your customers are using both your DSP and DMP?
Agencies and brands test out both, but it depends on how much data they have and how deeply they want to get into the mobile retargeting space. Nearly 100% are using both since it makes retargeting on mobile easier.
What do you think about the argument that there isn't a need for a mobile DSP, that optimizing for mobile should just be a feature within a DSP?
In my opinion, it doesn't have to be separated if you have everything you need in one stack. But in reality, that doesn't often happen. You also need enough money to invest in both a PC and mobile DSP and if your business is already comfortable running in a PC space, it may be hard to build a mobile bidder or it might just be a simple version that doesn't fully meet your needs. We're building mobile-specific technologies that will position us for the future.
How closely do you work with your parent company, FreakOut? Do you share many of the same clients?
We share some clients and use the same FreakOut technology but we layer our own mobile DSP and DMP technology on top of it.
Who are your customers at Dobleas?
Saatchi Mobile is one of our clients as well as other agencies but I can't name them without getting prior approval. We work with about 30 agencies and independent brands.
How will FreakOut's IPO affect Dobleas?
Japan's adoption of programmatic technology is about three years behind the US but hopefully with the money we raise from the IPO, we'll be able to focus on expanding our programmatic offerings in the US, where the demand is greater. Of course we have to strengthen our operations in Japan, but we'll be spending a lot in the US, too.
Will your investments in Dobleas include acquisitions? Which types of companies would you be interested in?
Maybe. There are a lot of interesting startups. Location data companies might be particularly interesting, especially since location data is uniquely mobile. It hasn't been utilized in the right way yet, either. Using location data to geofence areas and offer coupons isn't really scalable and so I'm interested in companies that are finding smarter ways to use location data.
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