AdTech: AdForm Beats $40m Revenue Monetizing These 3 Days

Gustav Mellentin

In Episode #808, Nathan interviews Gustav Mellentin. He’s the founder and CEO of Adform in the adtech space. Before that, he was an engineer in the banking world with an MBA, and was also doing consulting. He just recently came back from a European holiday.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Daring Greatly
  • What CEO do you follow? – Jorgin Vig Knudstorp
  • Favorite online tool? — Vivino Wine App
  • 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? – Be bold and do what you think is right

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:46 – Nathan introduces Gustav to the show
  • 02:20 – Gustav shares his European holiday experience
    • 02:30 – It was pure leisure
  • 02:50 – Adform is a tech company that has developed an ad tech platform
  • 03:13 – Adform typically takes a percentage of the spend in the trading model which is on a monthly fee
    • 03:27 – Adform also has a per usage model for their application software
  • 03:50 – Average fee from the data model starts at $5K
  • 04:23 – Most of the revenue from Adform is from the trading space
  • 04:42 – Adform’s data model is the fastest growing part of the business and 10% of the revenue comes from it
  • 06:07 – Adform takes around 10% from the trading model
    • 06:21 – Gustav believes 10% is healthy for spend
  • 06:55 – Adform was launched in 2002
  • 07:10 – Gustav shares how they came up with Adform
  • 07:41 – First year revenue
  • 08:15 – Adform has past their million dollar mark in revenue, in 2010
  • 08:40 – Team size is 780 globally
  • 09:01 – Adform was initially bootstrapped, then they raised $5M in equity and $20M from debt
  • 10:23 – Gustav shares about the deal they made
    • 10:40 – “At the end of the day, it’s all about trust”
  • 12:50 – Adform has a great management team that is able to manage their number of employees
  • 14:20 – Adform’s DMP or data management platform was launched 18 months ago
    • 14:34 – Current number of customers is around a hundred
  • 15:16 – Gustav has flown his whole team in
    • 15:38 – Gustav shares what people do at their end-of-the-year party
  • 16:18 – Target revenue by end of 2017 is $50M to $100M
  • 17:00 – Gustav is one of the major shareholders of Adform
  • 18:00 – Gustav shares what other entrepreneurs could learn from his story of entrepreneurship with his personal relationships
  • 20:27 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Zero revenue can turn into millions if you focus on your goals.
  2. Keep your people happy and make them feel that they’re part of the company’s success.
  3. Entrepreneurship and personal relationships can grow at the same time.

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