If I were to tell you that there is a startup in Estonia that generates 100 000 000 unique visitors per day, is number #80 on Alexa, has over 3 000 paying customers, has more than 40 employees and is aiming for over €25 million turnover in 2013 you might say I am bluffing. Your first guess, thinking about the Baltics is probably Ask.fm. However, there is such an Estonian company - AdCash.
AdCash is an ad network that is concentrating on entertainment and gaming. According to Thomas Padovani, founder and CEO of the company: “AdCash is doing what Google Adsense is doing. The only difference is that AdCash is very focused on entertainment.”
Padovani, came to Estonia from France in 2007 and started AdCash a year later in the kitchen of a 40m2 apartment on the outskirts of Tallinn, that belonged to his wife. After buying his first script, that was used to count impressions, he started building the product and looking for the first customers.
With no funding in the company, it was built from scratch and the advertisers were gathered through direct one to one sales at the start. According to Padovani, the reason for the success was behind the decisions to “Bring in friends and foreign advertisers that were looking for French traffic. We started in France and 20-30 percent of the turnover is in France.” The company recognized that a lot of the people speak English and that international companies are interested in getting a part of the French traffic.
One of the first big deals was with Gameforge, one of the biggest browser based games developers, and it grew from there. Today AdCash has over 70 000 publishers and over 3 000 advertisers. They provide traffic to leading international game advertisers and work closely with major online portals, we saw the names and they are big.
Amazingly, in their first year, the company did about €900 000 in turn over. Followed by €3 million, €6 million and €12 million in the following years.
Today, they can get traffic in pretty much any country in the world. As Padovani tells ArcticStartup: “If you want some traffic in Combodia, Kuwait or something like that, we have it.”
AdCash gives about 70% - 90% of revenue to their publishers, so with a turnover of €25 million, you can do the math on their theoretical profitability. No matter what the number is, they definitely look like one of the biggest and hottest startups in Estonia right now.