Russian ad platform Mobidriven gets RUB 70 mn in investments

Mobidriven, a start-up in the current Sber500 seed accelerator batch, has raised RUB 70 mn from private investors. This round was syndicated by Startech.Partners, a venture capital firm. Investors received a 20% stake in the start-up.
Andrey Son, a member of the start-up's team, told us about their plans to spend the money and their short-term goals.
Mobidriven is a programmatic mobile advertising platform. We bring together a large number of traffic providers, including international ones, in a one-stop-shop solution and provide our clients with easy access to it. We are now working on connecting more third-party data sources directly to our profile and making a fully-fledged data marketplace for our clients.

An idea suggested by a problem

Early last year, many of us were thinking about developing our own projects. Some, like me, were already trying to create start-ups.

In the spring of 2022, as major international players withdrew from the market, advertisers began to think about how to promote products and services, utilize budgets efficiently, and look for new opportunities. This pressing problem prompted us to the idea of combining traffic sources that were previously scarcely known in Russia (AppLovin, ironSource, Fyber, and others) to offer them as an alternative.

The team

We now have more than 30 people in our team. Each of us has experience either in client service, product development, or other advertising-related areas. We have worked for various international holdings such as Publicis, Dentsu, Omnicom, and Media Direction Group. Many of us met in the latter, by the way.

The deal

We've actually been working on the round since around February 2023. When we applied to the Sber500 seed accelerator, we were already following our investment strategy. We are now preparing for the high season on the advertising market, which begins in mid-August. Therefore, the funds received from the investor will be used to expand the team and cover other operating expenses related to the season.

Why Sber500?

I have been doing business for the last two and a half years. I have observed various seed accelerators both in Russia and in other countries.

Participating in a major seed accelerator is not just about status, it is also about useful knowledge and an opportunity to fine-tune our project and look at it from a variety of perspectives.

Another important motive for participating in Sber500 is the potential opportunity to pilot with Sber.
There is a popular saying: "You can pay 200,000 dollars for your education, or you can get the same knowledge at the local library”. That is, you can spend several years of your life testing hypotheses, some of which will definitely be unsuccessful, looking for the right contacts and so on, or you can take the shortcut and use the experience of mentors from all over the world and the connections that Sber provides for free. However, the accelerator's screening process is very tough.

The Sber500 program is in no way inferior to seed accelerators in other countries, and in some respects, it is even superior as it adapted to Russian realities.

Short-term goals

At the moment, we are focusing on the Russian market: at the end of 2022, our revenue amounted to RUB 147.5 mn, net profit – to RUB 23.7 mn. Nevertheless, we have plans to enter new countries. In addition, we are strengthening collaborations with our traffic and data supply partners, and also developing custom solutions for clients.

Another critical line of business for us is developing our products for SMEs: we want any entrepreneur to be able to log on to our system and launch an advertising campaign tailored to their specific objectives. As for our long-term goals, we want to reach RUB 5 bn in revenue per year in the next 5-6 years and become the leader in the in-app traffic market.