Q&A with SponsorPay founder Janis Zech, the company that just got 125% better

Janis Zech
Janis Zech

SponsorPay, the Berlin-based company and leading cross-platform in-game advertising, just announced that it achieved 125% YoY revenue increase in 2011. Fueled by strengthened relationships with key clients, expansion to New York, Tokyo, and Istanbul, as well as the launch of two new products (BrandEngage and a mobile CPA/Android pay-per-install network), SponsorPay’s growth makes it one of the most exciting Berlin start-ups to watch in 2012. To congratulate them and get the scoop on all the progress, we caught up with founder and CRO Janis Zech.


Q: Hey Janis! Congratulations on the 125% growth. How are you celebrating?

A: Hi Marguerite! I went skydiving in Australia and recharged my batteries to do even better this year! :)

Q: Are you a gamer yourself? What was the first game you ever played and what is the last?

A: My gaming career has gone from Pac-Man to Dungeon Keeper to GoldenEye and now mostly mobile and iPad games. Games are cool! :)

Q: Last year, SponsorPay expanded to seven locations, including new offices in New York, Tokyo and Istanbul. What is the  reason for keeping headquarters in Berlin? (Already there are offices in London, Paris and San Francisco). Is there something particular about Berlin that makes it a good home-base?

A: Well, most importantly, the majority of our awesome team that took us almost three years to build are located in Berlin. Personally, Berlin is one of my favourite cities in the world and, even though I travel a lot, I love spending time here when I can. Professionally, Berlin attracts a lot of high-quality people and is fast becoming the developer and entrepreneurial talent hub of Europe. At the same time, I expect our other offices to grow as well.

Q: You begin the year with ambitious plans, namely to become the largest platform for brand and performance advertising in games globally. How will you achieve this goal? Who is your competition?

A:           1. Investing in attracting talent and building a winning team globally.

2. Building on existing publisher and advertiser relationships to achieve economies of scale.

     3. Continuing to provide high-quality service and offering value to our partners.

As we’re in a fast-growing market, we expect competition to be fierce but believe it will help bring out the best in all of us.

Q: The launch of BrandEngage during summer 2011 met with resounding success including an exclusive relationship with online games juggernaut Bigpoint and partnerships with leading publishers Digital Chocolate, King.com, Spil Games, GameDuell and FlowPlay, among others. Is Berlin the right place to be in terms of gaming? Where is best for gaming?

A: Germany was a pioneer in online games and some of our most important publishers in the space are German, such as Bigpoint, Gameforge and InnoGames. South Korea and China are also important markets.

Of course, when we look to social and, especially, mobile games then the Valley is still where much of the action is, such as our partners Digital Chocolate, Gameview Studios and Red Robot Labs.

Q: You also introduced a pay-per-install and mobile-optimized CPA network monetization platform. How much do you attribute your company’s growth to this addition?

A: Mobile is one of the most exciting aspects of our business. It was key to our success last year, especially in Q3 and Q4. More on that in an upcoming press release – stay tuned!