Exclusive: Changes at Trademob – COO Alexander Franke steps down, 15 staff let go

Three key staff leave Rocket’s eDarling, one to Project A
Three key staff leave Rocket’s eDarling, one to Project A


Trademob COO Alexander Franke is giving up his previous role at the Berlin-based app marketing platform but remains a shareholder. In what the company says is unrelated news, 15 employees will be let go – a “refocus”.

As far as operations are concerned, mobile app marketing platform Trademob and its COO Alexander Franke will be going separate ways in the future. While he’ll no longer be working there, Franke will keep his shares in the firm, Trademob CEO and founder Ravi Kamran said.

VentureVillage’s sister magazine Gründerszene received a tip for the news from an anonymous source, who told them that a business strategy disagreement led to Frank’s departure – something Kamran denies, claiming it was “an amicable separation”.

Franke sees his strengths in building small startups up to larger businesses, Kamran said. For TradeMob, which launched in 2010, this step’s been mastered. This could mean it was Franke’s own choice to leave the firm in a move to focus on growing other early-stage startups.

Franke leaving the company cuts the management board from three to two: Kamran and Florian Lutz, Head of Sales, will remain in the leadership team. In the interim, Franke’s role as COO will be taken over by Questico Sylvius Bardt.


More change at Trademob – 15 workers let go to “refocus”

Trademob experienced rapid growth over the past 12 months and in that time increased its staff from around 30 to more than 127, the company told us. “In this phase we tried a lot out, but we noticed Trademob would work better if we had more focus on two areas: on the one hand the core markets of the UK and the US, and, on the other, the in-house DSP (demand-side platform)”, Kamran explained.

Due to the “structural adjustment” 15 staff will be let go, the majority of whom worked on other markets and many of whom were still in trial periods. Kamran was keen to stress that these dismissals have nothing to do with Franke stepping down.

Last November, Trademob received a Series B funding round of over $15m, with the lion’s share of $12.5m coming from Kennet Partners. Existing investors Tengelmann Ventures and HTGF provided the remaining $2.5m.

The funding was intended to push international expansion and develop Trademob’s technical platform. Now, it seems like the business wants to get back to this core focus. “We are already the market leader in Germany, that’s why we’re now working on cracking the English-speaking market,” Kamran told Gründerszene.

Trademob’s main offering is a tracking technology that brings together clicks, downloads and in-app actions for mobile advertisements. Over their own platform, Trademob users have access to more than 100 connected advertising networks – including Google Adwords.

Translated by Michelle Kuepper
Image credit: Flickr user Photociel

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