How Xaprio bootstrapped for 11 years and is looking to automate real-time ad bidding with Xapads
Founded in 2012 by Nitin Gupta, Xapads is a programmatic advertising exchange venture. Nitin is also the founder of Xaprio Solutions which too is in the advertising space. Xapads offers a self-serve monetisation platform and integrated real-time bidding (RTB) solution, and mainly focuses on mobile and native ads and online video advertising.
The platform gives ad agencies, trading desks and mobile ad networks better transparency and provides UX tools to better control ad campaigns and premium ad space. The venture currently consists of a 60-member team spread across Delhi and Mumbai. Talking to YourStory, Alok Pandey, sales head at Xapads, noted that the breakup of the team includes 12 people in sales and marketing roles, seven in client servicing, and others in technology, delivery and content marketing.
The core team at Xapads consists of Nitin (CEO), Ramneek Chadha (VP - International), Rohit Arora (VP - Technology) and Prabhjinder Singh Ahuja (VP - Mobile). Nitin has about 12 years of experience in web and traditional promotions, branding and advertising, and his vision is eradication of re-broking in the digital ecosystem and embracing automation.
Xapads’ core team has had an interesting journey that can be broken down into multiple phases:
Initially the team focused on display and performance ads, expanded its employee base and moved to a larger office. They also launched their performance marketing platform to take over the market.
The company then realised the tremendous potential mobile would have in the coming decade, and in 2011, decided to explore new opportunities in the space. In 2012, Xapad was formed and launched its ad management and optimisation solution for clients. Keeping up with the times, Xapads explored native advertising in 2015 and then real-time bidding in 2016.
How Xapads Media works
As a cross channel programmatic ad exchange, Xapads claims to utilise smarter audience targeting techniques, leverage best-of-breed solutions and global inventory to ensure results for both advertisers and agencies.
Being an automated and technology-driven process, programmatic advertising uses algorithm-based strategies that help advertisers spontaneously display ads to their audience on a publisher web page.
The programmatic advertising process involves five main steps and three parties: demand side platforms (DSP), supply side platforms (SSP) and data management platforms (DMPs). As explained in the picture, the entire RTB process happens in a time frame of approximately 200 milliseconds.
Image credit- Xapads
Xapad’s goal is to empower clients by providing them with services like advanced targeting, better brand safety, and real-time reporting from impression (of the ad) to conversion (sale). Alok Pandey explains,
"We follow real-time bidding compliance, according to which consumer privacy, legislation and regulation is kept confidential while quantity, brand safety, supply chain efficiency and transparency are implemented under strict guidance."
Xapads is also still into mobile advertising, which enables mobile publishers and app developers to acquire exclusive mobile traffic to optimise mobile ad inventory into sales. In 2016, the company launched an in-house RTB product, codenamed ‘X-RTB’, at global business platform Dmexco in Cologne.
Alok notes that beyond tech and tools, they understand that their customers are concerned about the quality of ad inventory, as that lies at the core of a business' marketing strategy. He says,
"When something concerns the performance of your campaigns, we act rapidly to catch fraudulent inventory and remove it from our platform."
Sector overview and future plans
According to research by Warc, the Indian ad market is forecast to grow by 13.5 percent in 2017, and is expected to be worth Rs 56,152 crore. With social media and apps gaining popularity in India, marketers are now keener on tapping into digital marketing, which has proven to be quite cost effective from an RoI point of view. In the coming years, programmatic advertising is expected to take a lion’s share of the market because of the elimination of middlemen and other convenience involved.
Xaprio Solutions and Xapads are bootstrapped, and the team claims to be self-sufficient at this stage and is not looking to raise external funding. Alok notes that about 40 percent of Xapads’ customers are from India, with the remaining 60 percent are spread across different countries. For the 2015-2016 financial year, Alok claims that Xapads earned about Rs 52.7 crore in revenues.
Going forward, Xapads aims to move from a managed RTB platform to a fully-automated one to speed up the entire value chain. Says Alok,
"We are launching a platform that can buy traffic programmatically, remove all the middlemen, and provide more convenience to our clients."