Mobile Ad Tech Passes $100m in Revenues

Harry Kargman

In Episode #798, Nathan interviews Harry Kargman. He’s a passionate entrepreneur who bootstrapped Kargo over 17 years into the leading mobile brand advertising marketplace. He’s obsessed with art, design and New York and has been helping steward the ad council in a partnership for New York.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Only the Paranoid Survive
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Skype, Slack and other product tools
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “It’s going to be okay”


Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 02:08 – Nathan introduces Harry to the show
  • 02:41 – Kargo is the largest brand advertising company for mobile
    • 02:45 – Their focus is on high end brands that are highly creative
  • 03:16 – Kargo is a technology company
    • 03:43 – They built a technology that will make an ad on mobile a high end brand experience
    • 04:12 – The ad renders perfectly on a mobile page
  • 05:52 – Kargo works with around 98% of the major media companies and publishers
  • 06:21 – Most of Kargo’s customers are Fortune 1000 companies
  • 07:13 – Kargo charges as a technology play for publishers, like a SaaS model
    • 07:28 – It is integrated into the media that runs on the platform
  • 07:50 – Kargo also takes a percentage of media that runs through the platform
  • 08:21 – Kargo is focused on quality as they’ve turned down a lot of publishers
    • 08:41 – Kargo only has the best quality for advertisers
  • 09:00 – The average cut Kargo is taking
    • 09:25 – Harry shares how they’re taking the cut with the kind of service that they provide
    • 10:29 – The vision that Kargo has is that they’re on equal partnerships
  • 11:14 – In 2015, Kargo passed $100M in annual revenue
    • 11:18 – The growth, year over year, is around 100%
  • 11:56 – 2017 is a big year for Kargo where they’re building a technology that is new to the market
    • 12:23 – Kargo has an AdLab that they try to bring to advertisers
  • 13:11 – Kargo is 15-20% SaaS and 85% is media
  • 13:22 – The goal for next year
  • 13:58 – Total team size is 270
  • 14:25 – Kargo will have a partnership with NBC in 2018
  • 15:07 – Kargo is completely bootstrapped
  • 15:32 – Before pivoting, Kargo was trying to build software and services for operators
    • 15:38 – However, operators wanted to take 18 months to 2 years for testing which is impossible for startups
  • 16:18 – Kargo just got into the water, expecting major media companies to sell their ads and media properties
  • 17:36 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Develop a product that will make Fortune 1000 companies need you.
  2. Regardless of the size of the deal, maintain equal partnership with your partners.
  3. Stay bootstrapped as long as you can and as long as you want.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • GetLatka – Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives