INTERVIEW – Last month, the Berlin-based startup SponsorPay rebranded as Fyber. For many people active in this startup ecosystem, both of these names may still sound unfamiliar. “It is not like the app Yo where you understand it immediately,” says Janis Zech, Cofounder and CRO of Fyber. “We support a lot of different apps, but nobody sees it really.”
In short, Fyber offers a platform for app developers to help them execute ad monetization strategies more effectively. Previously, app developers had to work with multiple ad networks and determine the optimal strategy that made their app the most money on their own. Fyber’s platform allows app developers to manage all ad revenue sources in one place. As a business to business company, Fyber may be working in the background, but its growth since its founding in 2009 makes it hard to overlook among Berlin’s growing number of startups.
Let’s look at a few numbers. Fyber claims to reach over 100 million unique users a month, and boasts a 63% increase in new platform integrations last quarter. The company currently employs 180 people and plans to hire 70 more by the end of this year.
To learn more on Fyber, we ventured over to its offices to meet Zech for a talk on the rebranding, founding in Berlin, and what is next for the startup.
When SponsorPay was first founded, it focused on ads for browser-based games and Facebook games. Two years ago, the company made a strategic shift towards mobile and began to create a mobile supply side platform. It was soon after that SponsorPay started deliberating a rebranding.
When asked how the team landed on the name “Fyber”, Zech tells us, “since fiber optics are the backbone of internet, and we are the backbone for mobile advertising.” Zech shares that pinpointing a fitting name was a challenging process, but it was a necessary and natural part of the startup’s progression. “Choosing the name made our customers rethink what we do and who we are.”
Along with a new name, Fyber recently snagged itself a new office just a short walk from the Oranienburger Tor U-bahn station. Its two spacious floors will be enough room for the estimated 40 new people it wants to hire for its product team. Its’ San Francisco office also plans on doubling the number of employees to support the US market.
“We love Berlin.”
The US market has always been an important market for Fyber. The company’s CEO and Cofounder Andreas Bodczek has been based out of San Francisco to oversee growth in that region.
Regardless, Zech maintains that Fyber’s Berlin roots are still very strong. “We love Berlin,” he says. “Ten years ago there was a lot of hype in Berlin. Now there is a lot more substance, so a lot of people who work in technology have experience in developing tech, creating great products, and creating great partnerships. This is all very relevant for us.” The city’s ability to attract highly skilled workers is important for Fyber which prides itself on having very international team.
Fyber’s First Steps
On Fyber’s future, Zech comments, “Overall, we have a vision to help app developers to use advertising in a more sophisticated manner.” With its mobile supply side platform in place, Fyber wants to spend the next five years improving its product, hiring top talents, and adding to the thousands of already existing partners.
Though business to business models are often left out of the tech spotlight, Fyber may be one to watch as a potential Berlin startup success story. We will stay tuned.