A Q&A with Remerge co-founder and CEO Pan Katsukis. The Berlin-based mobile app-focused adtech startup announced at the start of October that it has raised $1 million in Seed funding from Point Nine Capital and WestTech Ventures. It was founded earlier this year by Katsukis, CRO Benjamin Beivers, CTO Martin Karlsch, VP Engineering Christian Wolter and IT head Benedikt Böhm. This is its first round of outside funding.
SUB: Please describe Remerge and your primary innovation.
Katsukis: Remerge offers a platform for app advertisers to efficiently segment and manage their app’s user base and retarget their customers with relevant marketing messages. No SDK is needed for analyzing app audiences, setting up user segments and run campaigns globally.
SUB: Who are your target markets and users?
Katsukis: We are currently focused on European app advertisers, but as we can buy globally—plus we have data centers in France and the U.S., we can extend the platform to different markets. Many apps are distributed globally, so we can offer a solution for all markets.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition, and what differentiates Remerge from the competition?
Katsukis: Our competitors include TapCommerce, Criteo or Trademob. Our advantage is the generic setup of retargeting scenarios per app developer, and automatic management of app user audiences for retargeting campaigns.
SUB: You just announced that you’ve raised $1 million in Seed funding. Why was this a particularly good time to raise funding?
Katsukis: App retargeting is a market which we believe will grow really fast. Other big online advertising companies are working on building similar solutions and we have no time to wait.
SUB: How do you plan to use the funds, and do you have plans to seek additional outside funding in the near future?
Katsukis: We will use the money to speed up the development process and the sales activities. Currently we don’t have any concrete plans for a next round.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for Remerge? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Katsukis: We had a longer process for idea development. As we are quite well connected in the mobile ad tech space, we had a good overview of problems and opportunities. To be honest, doing retargeting in mobile is no real ‘idea’—it’s more about doing it right and being able to connect the dots to provide a good customer experience.
SUB: What were the first steps you took in establishing the company?
Katsukis: We had already a good understanding of how the minimal viable product should look like, so we started developing it. On the other hand we’ve spent a lot of time on positioning and have talked with a lot of app developers from different verticals.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story or meaning behind it?
Katsukis: The idea behind ‘Remerge’ is to merge lost or inactive app users back into the app. App advertisers spend a lot of money for user acquisition campaigns. Bringing the lost users back into the app is the logical next step.
Also, as we are five founders and friends who have in the end worked at different stations, we ‘remerged’ ourselves into Remerge.
SUB: What have the most significant challenges been so far to building the company?
Katsukis: The biggest challenge, as most startups will know, is to bring the first partners on board. They need to commit some of their time to test the product and need to trust the team. We are right now in the process of building case studies to create good user experiences. As soon as we have a good proof that our approach is working, onboarding future clients will be hopefully easier.
SUB: How do you generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Katsukis: We work like most other advertising clients and we get a share on the client’s media spent.
SUB: What are your goals for Remerge over the next year or so?
Katsukis: It’s all about proving that our product works. We want to create positive case studies for our customers. After that, we will build out the development and sales departments to extend the business.