63 START-UP ALLEY NexD
NexD also offers a managed service, where clients approach the firm with a specific idea and the start-up’s design and development teams create bespoke apps for them. Right now, the firm comprises around 28 permanent staff and 36 contractors, with clients ranging from Adidas, Ikea, Vans, Tiffany & Co, Nissan, Renault, T-Mobile, Telia and Samsung. The Adidas campaign is one that NexD likes to mention because the brand scheduled a campaign to run for two weeks but had to cancel it on its third day. “It was so successful they ran of stock,” Tammenurm says. On average, Tammenurm claims that brands have an eight times better performance using the AdCanvas platform over their competitors’ offerings, “largely because of the playful interactivity and the lightness of the file sizes,” he explains. According to Tammenurm, the firm has now established offices in multiple territories, including Tokyo, Singapore Sydney, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Copenhagen, Tallinn in its native Estonia, and London, where its CEO, the digital advertising entrepreneur Alex Rahaman, is based.
Speaking on the firm’s direction of travel, Tammenurm says, “We went east rather than west, which is not that common. Everyone chases after the US market, but it bleeds you out of money. We had an office in New York for six months, but it was so hard to get traction out there with limited resources.” While the firm has already completed a successful Series A seed funding round, with backing from leading VCs including 3TS Capital, Tammenurm admits that AdTech is a tough market. Europe’s strict regulatory climate and the introduction of GDPR has also meant there aren’t many new entrants competing in this space – something further exacerbated by the £1.3bn EU antitrust fine slapped on Google last year for advertising violations relating to its AdSense contracts, which Tammenurm predicts will put an end to almost all of Google’s new third-party certifications. “Investors seem to be impressed with any ad tech or creative tech company that has managed to last as long as two years!” he adds, which at the grand old age of four, he thinks, makes NexD a pretty solid case for investment.
ALL TO PLAY FOR Erik Tammenurm, co-founder of NexD, incorporates the value of play into his business model
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