AppSamurai started as a self-service mobile advertising platform in 2016 and has opened its ankara head office as well as its offices in Berlin, San Francisco, England and Spain with its serial investment tours and rapid growth, reaching 50 employees. In 2018 alone, the company has campaigned more than 30,000 ads, and its story line is full of sharp decisions and pivots.
Emre, founder of AppSamurai, is the 10th president of the Glocal Podcast. He was my guest in the episode. We talked to him about the change AppSamurai has undergone over the years. I think SaaS companies should create new openings and continue to grow in this way by constantly making business models, product and market pivots. AppSamurai’s story proves it…
Before we move on to AppSamurai’s story, I’d like to share what Emre has said about the corporate culture and organizational structure. Every entrepreneur needs to constantly think and redesign the organizational structure…
AppSamurai’s company structure consists of two main branches and resembles companies that make both hardware and software. The hardware-like structure is formed by the work of small teams that can switch between functions and meta-teams that examine the difficulties in user journey. In fact, this is an adaptation of the skeleton of teams and teams that have been tried many times before.
The branch, which resembles the software side, is an adaptation of a system that allows the skeleton of targets and main results to be locked into the same target with different people and teams within the framework of different responsibilities. This structure, which gives people freedom, has difficulties and leaves the comfort zones, works very well for AppSamurai at the moment. As Emre said, 100 employees will have to be revised at the point of exit, of course.
As soon as Emre reached a 40-member employee, He was a Chief Hapiness Officer with both an engineering background and a hr focus on in-house culture formation. Since mid-2018, this system has also increased the team’s motivation and speed of doing business.
The AppSamurai team was aware of the ad return optimization tools that corporate companies developed internally during their corporate life and in their later work as a service provider. AppSamurai dreamed of small advertisers who couldn’t develop software like this in-mind to run high conversion campaigns. The team, which has improved its integration with advertising platforms, has implemented its first product with intelligent suggestions and budget optimization. During this period, the minimum advertising campaign budget was set at 0 and very small applications were also intended to be accessed.
In this way, the company reached 50 thousand publishers and 1.2 billion users and completed the M investment round, which we include. The team increased its turnover 7 times over the same period compared to the previous year, 75% of which came from non-Turkish customers.
AppSamurai also provided integrations in different ways to advertising networks that were impossible to integrate due to their underdeveloped software. However, the pollution of the data coming from here, its fraudulent nature, and the high commissions cut by advertising networks have also prompted AppSamurai to develop its own advertising network. The company, which already has large advertising budgets, has quickly implemented this by signing agreements with several major publishers.
The company, which can drive higher margins and quality traffic through its own advertising network, has also experienced hyper growth in this area. AppSamurai, which can take its product to the next level with its fully controlled data stream, has also reached more than 15,000 advertisers in more than 100 countries.
The invisible ceiling and fraud in ad networks have been the main obstacle to appsamurai’s ad network’s growth. In addition to the self-service advertising optimization platform and ad network, it also produced products such as GoTrace, an affiliate link testing tool. In order to be attractive to small advertisers before, the company, which has set a minimum advertising budget limit of 0, does not grow at the desired rate of budgets in small firms, does not capture the desired frequency in repetitive ads, and because of the high costs, he decided to focus on large companies.
In addition to minor changes in the product, AppSamurai has turned to a sales strategy targeting advertising agencies and brands, bringing the minimum advertising budget to K. In this way, Nike, Migros, big firms managed to attract on the budgets of AppSamurai, opening sales offices in different countries went after large companies.
Since its inception, AppSamurai has been moving forward with the promise of increased advertising returns. The company, which is always blocked by fraud, thinks that of every ad made goes to fraud. With Facebook, Google and branding out, one-third of a 0 billion-a-year market goes to fake kits. Emre, who had the problem of this himself, decided to transfer his resources to this field.
AppSamurai advanced the fraud detection side and decided to present it to companies as a separate SaaS product, and that’s how Interceptd was born. Blocking fake clicks is obviously the great contribution it will make to ad returns. From another point of view, AppSamurai still focuses on the same problem, but with a completely different solution and business model.
Time will tell whether interceptd will be quickly adapted by brands that own budgets, or will be used by the agencies that manage these budgets. AppSamurai’s rapid experimentation on all of the main points, such as product, solution, business model, segment, is the result of the strong culture they create.
SaaS companies think they have reached the unicorn level by surfing on a few waves. These companies should continuously test and achieve product-market-compliance with different products and fields and continue to make high-margin sales. AppSamurai’s story is a brief summary of this…
Finally, let’s note that episodes of Glocal can be listened to on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Anchor.fm, Overcast, Radio Public.