This Singapore-based Startup Is Driving Growth In Ad-tech Industry Through AI
The ad-tech industry is facing constant disruption by advanced technologies and trends. With the increasing use of artificial intelligence, ad-tech is set to become the next big thing. Started off as AdAsia Holdings, in the advertising technology sphere in April 2016, Singapore-based AnyMind Group’s aim was to help marketers, advertisers, and online media publishers leverage on technology through a single, easy-to-use platform.
Exploring AI-based Solutions
According to Kosuke Sogo, chief executive officer, and co-founder, AnyMind Group, at that time, the marketing industry was in a complicated space, with over 3,700 vendors globally each focused on a specific (and sometimes overlapping) advertising or technology function.
“Our intention has not changed for us since the beginning. Our product philosophy and company mission are still the same: to empower professionals, businesses and industries through easy-to-use, AI-based solutions,” he says.
Sogo’s team soon realized that the matching engine they were building for their influencer marketing platform, CastingAsia could be utilized, with a few tweaks, for additional industries. He noticed a gap in the human resource industry which was also faced by his own company.
“Having expanded from two founders at the start to 330 employees in two and a half years, we needed more recruitment firepower, as our HR team was manually sifting through hundreds of resumes a day. This often led to a fatigued team at the end of each day. This is why we decided to expand out of the advertising and marketing industry, and into the human resource industry,” adds Sogo.
Aiding Marketers & Advertisers
Currently, the startup is focusing on driving market share and developing new solutions in their current industries.
“On the advertiser front, we’re looking into solutions that will tie advertisers closer to publishers (and the advertising inventory they can run their ads on). This includes improving the ability of our machines to target users with ads based on the context they are seeing an ad in, and reaching audiences based on ‘mindsets’ compared to just their profiles. We’re also looking into online to offline sale attribution and some other advances to our advertiser products. Of course, we will be working with 3rd-party verification partners to provide greater transparency and safety to our clients,” says Sogo.
For the advertising industry, the startup is looking at more ways marketers and advertisers in Asia can reach their audiences.
He adds, “We’re looking to drive increased connections for advertisers and media owners, and are starting work on some really interesting fronts including ways to reach audiences outside of their devices. These will come in the form of similar strategic partnerships to what we had for our Series B round.”
AI Will Not Destroy All Jobs
On the AI front, AnyMind Group has built engines that can analyze large amounts of data, and provide recommendation and action in real-time for the user.
“Our AI-driven optimization is still learning - be it for recommending the right influencers to brands, recommending the right price points for publishers, recommending the right audience for advertisers, or recommending the right candidates for businesses - these all use the same core, but are adapted to fit the product. Ultimately, we want to package AI (and to a greater extent, technology), for professionals, businesses and industries to drive efficiency and growth. We see AI as an assistant and not something that will replace jobs,” explains Sogo.
Right now the startup has a presence in 11 markets, including Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and Japan. So far, it has generated US$12.9 million in revenue for 2016, and more than doubled that in 2017 to US$26 million, and has been operating at a profit since January 2017.
“We’re planning launches in the future in Russia, and India, but are still waiting for the right market situation for us to move in. We may also look at other markets in Europe and the US in the mid-term future,” says Sogo.