Who are Chartboost?
“The idea behind Chartboost isn’t rocket science, but the technology is quite sophisticated. We have mobile game developers who want to monetise their mobile games and other mobile game developers who want to advertise in them. We put them together, and we are the best in the world at that” says Johan Lofstrom, Regional Director EMEA. Yet as simple as it sounds, when the company started in 2011, the market was wide open. “The founders Maria Alegre and Sean Fannan, who were working for Disney in California at the time, saw that there weren’t any good ad networks for games. They set out to create a monetisation platform that allowed developers to have complete control over the promotion and monetisation of their mobile games and was fully transparent. You don’t see that kind of transparency in any other network, and it’s one of our core values.”
Lofstrom recalls those early days from his office in Amsterdam’s Oud Zuid, a leafy neighbourhood just south-west of Museum Square. The company’s five other core values, which include ‘We love developers’ and ‘We are the good guys’, are prominently displayed in the sunny common room. “Our values go all the way through the organisation. People are very proud to work for this company. Chartboost created a good product with good values at exactly the right time and it grew very fast.”
So fast, in fact, that the Amsterdam office was opened in 2013 to serve partners in the EMEA region and India in their local language and time zone. “One of the reasons we’re here is the language skills,” says Lofstrom of the choice of location, “but we also want to create an international environment. Ninety-five percent of our partners are outside the Netherlands so it’s important to have an international mind-set. Nowadays, we don’t hire anyone who doesn’t have at least one or two years of study or work experience outside their native country.”
Amsterdam inbusiness helping them along the way
The company’s expansion was facilitated by amsterdam inbusiness, who organised introductions with accounting and legal firms and helped find an office space. More recently, members of the amsterdam inbusiness team also visited Chartboost in San Francisco. “They asked us what is working well and what could be done better,” says Lofstrom, who believes it is this kind of practical assistance and two-way interaction that makes it so easy for foreign businesses to assimilate.
Chartboost in short
In its short existence, Chartboost has integrated more than 100,000 games in its network, attracting over 600 million unique users each month and generating billions of ad requests. Recent innovations include the introduction of video advertising to augment the static ads, and Smartbid, a campaign type that optimises an advertiser’s campaigns to meet their goals. Another new product called post-install analytics enables advertisers to analyse the ads they show and the users who click on them. “Our mission is to be at the forefront of advertising so we invest heavily in our technology. If you stop investing, you’re outdated in two years,” says Lofstrom. If Chartboost’s numbers are anything to go by, the chances of that happening are remote.