Sunday 18 March 2018

Docklands move makes sense, says AdRoll president

Adam Berke
Adam Berke
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

WHAT do you do if your tech start-up becomes the fastest growing company in the advertising industry, bagging over €60m in private funding?

If you're AdRoll, you move to new premises in Dublin.

The firm, which specialises in 'retargeting' ads online, is one of the most recent settlers in Dublin's Silicon Docks. According to the company's co-founder and president, the move has been a good one.

"There's a big upside to companies being located here," says Adam Berke. "You're starting to see a serious eco-system emerge in Dublin.

"We're growing really fast here. One of the things we're doing in Dublin is developing our mobile technology and that's a big deal for us," says Berke. "Mobile is approaching 10pc of our revenue. And Dublin is now 15pc of our revenue base."

AdRoll, which now employs over 50 people in Dublin and is still hiring, has seen its fortunes closely mirror the behaviour of the advertising industry which is currently shifting from analogue to digital formats.

"What started as a project between a couple of friends now employs over 400 people, records annual revenues of €110m and is doubling in size every year.

"Its ambition is another reason it came to Dublin. Here, the ad world's biggest beast is located in the middle of the city: Google.

"A lot of people in AdRoll are recruited from Google," says Berke. "They get the product and the model very quickly. We're in a $500bn ad industry. We think it's important to get to as many companies as we can."

So what would he do if he owned a newspaper?

"I would think about how to capture my audience," he says. "When you have an audience of scale, or you have their location, that's really valuable for the marketing community."

However, he warns that most people "do not want to pay for content". "If you have a premium audience you can definitely monetise that. It's just finding the right way to monetise it."

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