New Zealand based ad-tech company Postr has attracted $3 million from investors to expand into telecommunications markets in Australia and South East Asia.
The fast-growing company builds telecom branded white-label apps, which let people hire out their Android lock screens for advertising in return for mobile data or airtime from major mobile carriers. It has recently launched Optus Xtra with Australian telecom giant Optus and will soon launch telecom-branded apps in major South East Asian markets.
The investment was lead by a group of private investors in Singapore and well supported by previous investors. Other investors include Gunung Sewu Group from Indonesia, K1W1, NZVIF (New Zealand Venture Investment Fund), individuals from Singapore and New Zealand, and senior leadership from PayPal in the US.
"We are delighted to welcome a few new names and well aligned groups and individuals to our small shareholder base," says Milan Reinartz, the company’s founder and CEO. "The investors involved have deep knowledge, an applied understanding of the industries we play in and high expectations of the team. It was important for us to find the right investors and to build a board that has an understanding of the telecommunications and advertising industries - people who are in a position to provide the right governance to help myself and our exec team achieve our goals in 2017 and beyond."
Postr, founded in 2014, first created a B2C app by the same name and then teamed up with Skinny Mobile in New Zealand last year to create its first white-label app, Skinny Collect. Collectively these apps have generated over 60,000 downloads since their inceptions, converting around 1.5% of the entire New Zealand population. Their mission is to help mobile operators increase ARPU (monthly average revenue per user) through new revenue channels and provide sponsored connectivity to mobile subscribers all over the world.
Reinartz says "New Zealand is a fantastic testing ground, but from a commercial perspective just too small a market to stay put. Our intention has always been to eventually grow globally, with an initial focus on large developing markets in South East Asia where Android is dominating and mobile penetration growing incredibly fast. Sponsored data is a phenomenon on the rise, with mobile data being the most sought after source of connectivity. In the meantime, telco ARPUs are shrinking as people are no longer willing to pay for minutes or SMS, instead using OTT providers like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger to make calls and send texts."
Android users who agree to download Postr’s white-label apps get personalized advertising appearing on the lock screen of their cellphone or tablet, where they can either click to engage with the ad or simply unlock and use their device as they normally would. Regardless of engagement or the amount of ads a user sees, they earn a benefit from their telecommunications provider, ranging from 200MBs to 1GB of monthly mobile data, call time or other credits, depending on market conditions and telecom offerings.
Alongside the line-up of high profile investors, Postr has secured an enviable line-up of Board members, such as chairman David Akers, who was a director of GreenButton up until their successful exit and purchase by Microsoft in 2014. Other new board members include Singaporean based Chon-Phung Lim, who held VP and SVP titles at Hewlett-Packard and Oracle Corporation respectively, and Mun-Kein Chang, current VP Product Management at global roaming business Syniverse.
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