[Startup Interview] Maarten Boon, Founder We adapt
We are a Dutch adtech startup. We offer a creative management platform for video which makes data driven ad creation simple and easy for brands and agencies. We empower them to control, manage and efficiently create the most effective and engaging ad. We do this by dynamically creating infinite versions from the ad based on data and third-party integrations with major adtech platforms.
It’s actually ‘programmatic creative’ to use another term. It’s the next step in programmatic advertising, because not only are the timing and the person dynamically addressed, but also the content itself is dynamic, which enables the advertiser to tap into the need and interest of the consumer.
Who owns We adapt?
That’s me (Maarten Boon) and Zwier Kanis, but we also have multiple investors. This is actually not my first venture. After graduating from the Film Academy in Amsterdam, I worked in post-production for several years. In 2009 I started my own business in the advertising industry. Throughout those 10 years I’ve always been working on production and post-production for TV and online commercials.
Why did you start We adapt?
I always strived to create campaigns at the cutting edge of storytelling and innovation during my career. With the advent of automation (programmatic advertising), I had the idea to use this new technology to introduce dynamic messaging to commercials. I believe that algorithms and data can bring versatility to storytelling. In 2015, I started to develop the data-driven video platform ‘We adapt’ to make personalized video advertising scalable for advertisers and, through this, to create content that is customized and relevant to each unique consumer.
Where are you located?
We’re based in the beautiful old center of Amsterdam. To be precise, we’re on the Kerkstraat which is close to both the canals and the Rijksmuseum.
How is We adapt financed?
We have a few private investors, and just got another boost of half a million euros through investing partners CNBB and Tablomonto, but more importantly we have great global -three letter- clients such as postal service TNT and the Royal Dutch airline KLM.
What distinguishes We adapt from other businesses in the industry?
The concept of personalized video isn’t new, but we focus on data driven advertising. We built a platform in the programmatic ad system with a SaaS platform that focuses on integrations on the ad eco system. We use our Creative Management Platform brands and agencies to generate, manage, distribute and optimize video creatives to the most important channels. There are parties who can create various versions of videos or personalized video for that matter, but where we differ is that we use data to generate it. That means we create hundreds, if not thousands, of versions of ad content. While we’re at it we make it easy and simple for brands to manage their creatives via our SaaS platform.
What is it clients want from you?
Aside from good results, also high quality videos. Brands and agencies who focus on data driven advertising and a centralized customer view work with us to easily create the most engaging and effective ads, but in an efficient way to always have the best ad available ready to serve.
What does We adapt need to grow?
Like any startup or entrepreneur for that matter, we need time. We kicked off in June of 2017, so we’re really happy with our results so far. That said we have so many ideas we would like to address.
What are your international ambitions?
After two years of development we started to give a few brands the opportunity to pioneer with us. These brands are global ones, we run their campaigns all over the world. In the end we want clients from all over the globe. But to start things up we’re focusing on the Dutch, French and UK markets. Mostly because the markets technical infrastructure is well developed as is their advertising industry.
Any recent news you would like to share?
I already mentioned it briefly, but we just got a new investment of a half a million euros which makes us quite happy. Next to that we’re also really stoked with the background of our investing partners because aside from a financial push, they also know how to boost startups like ours.
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