Time flies – The story of KissMyAds in a nutshell
We all know the phrase of how “time flies”, but as I looked at my calendar today, for the first time I had the feeling that this saying is really true. It feels like yesterday when Venista and myself founded KissMyAds back in London in early 2011. Five great and exciting years later, we’ve sold KissMyAds to one of the biggest players in digital marketing by the name of Ströer.
Sounds a bit like my farewell blogpost, right? But it’s not. I just wanted to reflect on some major milestones we’ve achieved over the last few years. This start of 2016 feels somehow like a new start and that’s why I thought a look back would be a good idea.
At the beginning I was supported only by Oliver and Christian, the two Venista CEOs who had the faith in me and my idea to start a performance network solely focusing on mobile ads. We knew that it would be a difficult company to build but we had everything in store, because we were really excited about our idea. Well, except for a name for our new found startup. We sat there for hours but did not come up with a good one until Christian had the brilliant idea of naming our company KissMyAds. We agreed on it in a heartbeat and so it was all set up for us to start our business.
In 2013 we decided to move to Cologne to the neighborhood of Venista, because we could benefit from their environment and their marketing, HR and IT team. At first we rented a flat as our very first own office, but a half year later we had grown so much that we were forced to find a new office. We moved over into a really nice – and when I say nice I mean extraordinary – loft office in the heart of Cologne. Great times! We bought a ping pong table and even integrated our own small bar into that office. I know that sounds a bit crazy, but we were still working our tails off while enjoying some late night after-work parties in our office.
At that point we had grown so much that it was hard to proceed with KissMyAds without establishing processes and all these rules a ‘real’ company needs. We were in a transition from startup to company and while it was a bit sad to see some of our ‘startup culture’ go, I enjoyed being around these talented young people who loved to work for KissMyAds.
Next up was another office change and also our expansion office in Berlin which had been a goal for us right from the start of KissMyAds. We also gathered great experiences on events all over the world and by now a mobile marketing event without our KissMyAds lips at hand would seem odd to many people, wouldn’t it? The best time in case of events was always when we had the chance to invite our partners to our home town of Cologne in time for the dmexco. Always fun!
So as I started my blogpost, we are now looking at the future of mobile marketing as a part of one of the biggest marketers in Europe and we can’t wait to shape the industry in 2016. German startup news site Gründerszene recently certified us as one of the fastest growing startups in Germany. A good start to this year. Hopefully, I’ll have many other great stories to reflect on at the beginning of 2021 when another five exciting years have taken place. I’m really looking forward to it!