Responses from Chief Executive Rob Emrich
How has your company evolved since it was founded?
Our company, PaeDae, was founded around the concept of premium mobile rewards. It wasn’t until rolling out our solution at scale that we realized how fraught with problems the mobile advertising ecosystem was. We shifted our focus at that time to a much larger addressable market while simultaneously rebranding the company as the Mobile Majority.
BUSINESS: Mobile advertising
TWO-YEAR REVENUE GROWTH: 4,588 percent
2015 REVENUE: $5.5 million
How has the company been funded?
Until now, we have been backed by sophisticated individual investors and strategic partners that use our product. Our strategy with financing is to take on only what we need based on the strategic growth opportunities in front of us, to hire great people, and to utilize their strengths to grow the business.
What did you do to achieve this rate of growth?
The difficult decision to pivot and rebuild our platform from the ground up in 2014 was ultimately what enabled our clients’ campaigns to achieve some of the best engagement rates in the industry. Strategic partnerships, both on the investment and business development sides, have also helped us accelerate revenue.
Who were your key advisers in the process?
We’ve had many people who we’ve turned to for advice along the way: our board, investors with experience in the space, and other entrepreneurs outside our industry for unbiased perspective. Overall, we like the tough-love approach to advisers. To quote Abe Lincoln: “He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.”
How did you manage the growing workload?
We have upgraded our office multiple times. As the company matured and we better understood how and where our revenue was coming from, we decided to invest in building out our infrastructure to allow the team to more efficiently ingest and traffic high-performing mobile ad campaigns while eliminating many of the processes we were previously performing manually as a startup.
What were the biggest obstacles hindering your growth and how did you overcome them?
Our industry is incredibly crowded, so it can be difficult to cut through the noise and differentiate yourself when competitors are claiming they have the same offering. We have always maintained a 3-to-1 (and sometimes 5-to-1) ratio of engineers to sellers. Taking the alternative approach probably could have accelerated sales, but we knew that wouldn’t serve our clients in the long term. Instead, we stayed focused on better results through refining our own technology and building our relationships through results.
Is there still room to grow in your current market or will you seek to expand into new areas?
Ad spending is anticipated to continue its migration from traditional mediums to digital (particularly mobile) in the coming years. We will continue innovating on features that benefit advertisers beyond targeted awareness campaigns. We are already developing solutions for mobile developers, organizations who are looking to monetize their data, and brands interested in direct response and attribution.
How do you manage expectations going forward?
We will continue to focus on increasing the results and returns for our advertisers and partners while driving down costs and improving our profit margins.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
Probably almost everything. We have succeeded through failure, an ongoing process of trial, error, and adapting. Looking back, the mistakes we made led to the direction we have taken as a company and ultimately our growth. More specifically, some of the hiring and people mistakes we have made are the most damaging. People drive success and a few bad apples can spoil the whole bunch.
How has your location in the L.A. area played into your company’s growth?
I’ve found Tom Bradley’s quote to be true: “People cut themselves off from their ties of the old life when they come to Los Angeles. They are looking for a place where they can be free, where they can do things they couldn’t do anywhere else.”
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