UK mobile advertising start-up Vungle announced the opening of its South Korea office this week. The company seeks to expand globally to drive growth through high performance in-app advertising.
Vungle offers video ad-serving technology that powers monetisation
Its Korean location will be headed by Country Manager Hong Kim, who joins Vungle from Groupon Korea where he previously demonstrated his passion for leading the company to growth. Kim explains that it’s Vungle’s goal to help South Korean publishers to launch globally. He explains:
“There is a high population of mobile gamers in Korea. Hard-core and RPG games are very popular. Our infrastructure – smartphone penetration, LTE network – is much more advanced than the US and Europe. Even on the subway, everyone is playing games and watching TV. Most of the money in-app, 99%, is made from in-app purchases. So, when we talk to publishers, they want to know, is mobile video going to hurt our in-app purchases?”
According to Kim, western publishers are also to benefit from the opening of the new office since there are many monetisation opportunities in Korea and given the small number of solid marketing opportunities Vungle stands out.
South Korea has experienced a steady growth in mobile advertising spending over the past few years. In fact, a recent eMarketer study finds that two in five digital ad dollars are being spent on mobile internet formats. It is estimated that South Korea spends 38.4% of all digital ad spending on impressions served to mobile phones and tablets.
Zain Jaffer, Vungle’s CEO and co-founder, says:
“South Korea’s startups have struggled to connect with users outside their own country. Hong is the perfect choice to lead Vungle Korea as we introduce a whole new in-app video experience to South Korea’s startup scene. Users will be delivered non-intrusive, contextually relevant ads that are charged with creativity—leading to an increase in in-app downloads and engaged customers. The huge growth potential in South Korea’s tech scene has garnered a lot of recent attention here in Silicon Valley. We have been experiencing tremendous growth state-side and look forward to empowering Korea’s startups as they compete in the global marketplace.”
Vungle Korea launches with seven employees with plans to expand to a team of 30 by 2016. Based in D.Camp, Seoul, the location represents Korea’s foundation for start-ups. The office will liaise with the London creative team to help create mobile video ads.
The team has already begun to work with local developers, such as mobile app developer JellyBus. Sejoong Kim, CEO, JellyBus, says:
“By using video advertising to monetize users, apps like ours can supplement revenue from IAPs without harming the user experience. Vungle’s global footprint also allows us to tap into new audiences across the world, while their diverse advertiser relationships ensure we provide a localized, relevant ad experience – which adds up to increased revenue and happy players.”
Indeed, given the country’s smartphone market saturation close to 85%, the audience is there and brands are beginning to see the reward of in-app video ads over traditional formats.