Adverttu. The Rapidly Growing Car Advertising Platform.
Just before Christmas, we were lucky enough to get the chance to chat with Artjom Jekimtsev, founder and CEO of Adverttu. Artjom is an impressive entrepreneur whose unending passion for Adverttu becomes obvious from the moment you speak to him.
With so much money and time being spent on digital marketing, it's refreshing to discover a company who are searching for revolutionary ways to grow brand awareness offline.
Drivers can apply to join the Adverttu platform via the app, and if successful will be rewarded with up to £150 a month simply by following their normal driving routes. By matching their drivers' habits with advertiser's requirements, Adverttu can provide effective and efficient campaigns. It's a win-win system.
We're not alone in being impressed with Adverttu either, as their growth figures prove. With a great team, an innovative interface system, and a CEO as dedicated as Artjom, it's hardly any wonder that Adverttu is growing so quickly.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself please?
I previously worked at Tesla, where I helped build the UK market from the ground up. I’ve also been responsible for leading cross-functional teams, including enterprise-wide initiatives, new market development and international expansion at TeeApex. I’ve always been active in London’s entrepreneurial scene and tech ecosystem too.
Can you describe Adverttu in a single sentence?
We get brands advertising ‘on the road’ with our easy-to-use, accurate and measurable on-car advertising platform.
We love the Adverttu concept! Can you tell us more about the founding of the company?
I’ve been a car enthusiast my entire life and love technology, so I’d like to think Adverttu has always been my destiny!
My co-founder and I were originally coding away in our dorm, building a peer-to-peer car lending platform so people could rent their cars out when they weren’t using them.
When deciding how to raise awareness, digital marketing was too saturated, and we looked into out of home advertising instead. No-one could provide us with the necessary insight or data to accurately measure return on investment and our campaign would have been locked to a specific location, an inflexibility preventing us from adapting quickly.
So, we rented a car ourselves, printed leaflets and wrapped the car in our branding. This experiment proved incredibly successful, so we searched for companies offering this service to brands at scale and there weren’t any. That’s when Adverttu was born!
How has Adverttu grown since you founded it?
Rapidly, and we’re only just getting started! More than 10,000 drivers have signed up to Adverttu’s passive income opportunity and our team is currently 15 strong with offices in London, Paris and San Diego. Our user acquisition is a healthy 23% month on month growth.
What challenges have you faced in growing your business, and how did you overcome them?
Finding the right investors was really important to us, although I wouldn’t call this a challenge, rather a discovery process that every ambitious scale-up navigates.
As a company promoting driving, climate change conversations are unavoidable however we are proud of our sustainability initiatives. Our car wraps can be recyclable, driver carbon offsetting is coming soon, and we always encourage our drivers to use electric cars! In fact, by analysing their journey profile, we can even provide an accurate use case for them to do so!
What strategies have you found to be most effective for raising awareness of Adverttu? Do you have different strategies for reaching drivers and suppliers?
Both audiences are symbiotic.
For drivers, the message sells itself - earn some extra money doing what you’re doing already. I don’t know many people who would turn down up to £150 extra income per month. Our exciting driver rewards and perks are another great reason to use Adverttu. Social media advertising, targeted PR and having a happy, vocal driver community singing our praises are driving growth.
For brands, we’re attracting the mavericks, trailblazers and early-adopters at the moment, those tired of other underperforming, difficult-to-measure advertising channels. We’re ramping up our presence in the advertising and marketing press, and are working closely with our partners in brand advertising, media buying and digital marketing to bring on new clients.
If you could go back to the beginning of Adverttu and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be?
“Move fast and break things.” I wish we moved sooner into our commercial activity and started gathering client feedback earlier in our journey, rather than continuing to perfect our algorithm. If we were brave enough to start selling our product earlier, we would have accumulated even more valuable feedback from our clients by now, which would have made our platform even better than it is today.
Let's talk about your team. You utilise remote workers as well as having a staffed HQ, can you tell us why you've taken this approach to building your team?
Talent is spread far across the world and technology makes building a distributed team more manageable than ever. I wouldn’t even say this was a conscious decision for us, you locate yourself where skilled, passionate people are – that's everywhere.
What does the future hold for Adverttu? Where do you see the business in five years?
Our immediate objectives are to bring more drivers onboard, build our affiliate network further and show brands the impressive outcomes possible with Adverttu. Plenty of businesses are launching campaigns with us in the near future so keep an eye out for those.
Technology wise, our advanced AI and Machine Learning algorithms and Computer Vision technologies strengthen our platform’s capabilities every day.
Longer term, we see ourselves going global, expanding beyond on-car advertising to span the full breath of mobility.
With Adverttu, you've created an innovative service in an established industry, which is a huge achievement. What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are looking to innovate?
Build your MVP as soon as possible. Make decisions quickly. Hire talented people. Seek partners that add value immediately. Be fearless. Passion carries you through darker days; building a company has highs and lows, but whatever happens, make what you do fun!
Is there another entrepreneur who you find inspirational?
Ben Horowitz – ex-CEO turned VC.
If you could count on any business in the world to be a client, who would it be? Why?
We’re still waiting for Innocent Drinks to return our calls. We share similar business and cultural values and I think we would make a great match.
Finally, what happens during a working day at Adverttu HQ?
Action. Lots of it. We’re very agile. No day is ever the same, I’d be worried if it was.
And finally, I want to take a moment to share how much I appreciate the time and effort every team member has invested into this project, burning the midnight oil together to make this company what it is today. That time mattered to each person and to their families, and I genuinely can't express how much I appreciate that.
I am confident that we have one of the strongest teams in the industry, and countless times I saw our team accomplishing miracles by overcoming deadlines that established industry leaders considered impossible.
Learn more about Adverttu: