a How an Israeli hurdler and mother of two turned ClicksMob into a $10M business - .

How an Israeli hurdler and mother of two turned ClicksMob into a $10M business


Chen Levanon used to be a hurdler in college. So the Israeli woman is a natural for running a fast-moving business like ClicksMob.
ClicksMob is a mobile-only performance advertising platform that delivers users to app developers and publishers. As a third-party broker, ClicksMob can access more than 8,000 sources of traffic, making mobile advertising more efficient by matching advertisers and publishers.
Her company generated $10 million in revenue in 2014, and it’s still growing fast. The business is performance-based. App developers take out an ad, or ad agencies create a campaign, and ClicksMob is only paid once the desired result happens, such as when a user installs an app or returns to it a second or third time. If the user doesn’t do anything, then ClicksMob doesn’t get paid. But it does get a cut if it brokers a successful match, enabling a developer to gain a new user by advertising the app on other sites.
It’s a good business. The company — with some staff in both San Francisco and Tel Aviv — was started two years ago and is self-funded. Gartner estimates that revenue from mobile app downloads will triple by 2017. ClicksMob’s clients include Machine Zone, Kabam, Gree, SGN, and Skout.
Levanon is also interesting because she’s a rare female CEO in a male-dominated landscape. Even in Tel Aviv, the modern Mad Men environment of marketing technology companies is mostly run by men. More than half of her management team is female, as is most of the company overall. She has also found time to be a mother of two youngsters, a testament to her can-do attitude and her own experience as a competitive athlete.
We caught up with Levanon at the Casual Connect game event in San Francisco. Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.
Chen Levanon: We’re a mobile performance platform — only mobile, only performance. We started almost three years ago. I joined the four founders. We’re self-funded. We were profitable from our third month. We’re in San Francisco and Tel Aviv, plus legal in New York. We have about 50 employees, 77 percent of whom are women.
VB: That’s unusual.
Levanon: Two things are, yeah — that we’re self-funded and that we’re mostly women. It’s our own technology, so we don’t white label. We developed it from scratch. We have 8,000 different traffic sources — publishers, and 500-plus advertisers, developers, anyone who wants user acquisition.
About 10 months ago, we realized that this industry is still immature, but long-term business relationships are very important for us. We developed our optimization team, so we’re doing a lot of CPE and CPA campaigns. We’re fully integrated with all the tracking companies. We’re doing in-house events and all the optimization, because that’s very important for us.
VB: Do you have territories you’re focused on?
Levanon: We’re global. We’re doing all verticals, not just gaming. We’re very strong in ecommerce, shopping, and utilities, even more than games and gambling. It depends on the month you ask about. Last month Korea was our strongest, but the month before it was the U.S. and India. Sometimes it’s 50-50 between iOS and Android, but not always.
Of those 8,000 traffic sources, 85 percent of it is direct traffic, media buys through our SDK. We also have our API in a lot of other apps. We have our native ad traffic.
VB: How many impressions is that per month?
Levanon: We count conversions, so we have billions of impressions a day, millions of clicks a day. We have hundreds of thousands of conversions in a day. We don’t pay per click like everyone else. It’s our own technology, so we care about the absolute value of conversion.

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