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An app for ads on your phone? Kiwi company spreads its wings
Tue, 17th Jan 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Who would have thought that people would be willing to download an app that displays ads on their lock screens?

Because that is exactly what New Zealand-based ad-tech company, Postr, has done – and done it well. The fast-growing company builds telecom branded white-label apps, which let people hire out their Android lock screens for advertising in return for mobile data or airtime from major mobile carriers.

Android users who agree to download Postr's white-label apps get personalised advertising appearing on the lock screen of their cellphone or tablet, where they can either click to engage with the ad or simply unlock and use their device as they normally would.

Regardless of engagement or the amount of ads a user sees, they earn a benefit from their telecommunications provider, ranging from 200MBs to 1GB of monthly mobile data, call time or other credits, depending on market conditions and telecom offerings.

From humble beginnings in New Zealand, the company has recently launched Optus Xtra in Australia and will soon launch telecom-branded apps in major South East Asian markets, after attracting $3 million from investors.

This was led by a group of private investors in Singapore, while supported by others like the Gunung Sewu Group from Indonesia, K1W1, NZVIF (New Zealand Venture Investment Fund), individuals from Singapore and New Zealand, and senior leadership from PayPal in the US.

Postr founder and CEO, Mike Reinartz says they're delighted to welcome a few new names and well aligned groups and individuals to their small shareholder base.

“The investors involved have deep knowledge, an applied understanding of the industries we play in and high expectations of the team,” Reinartz says.

“It was important for us to find the right investors and to build a board that has an understanding of the telecommunications and advertising industries – people who are in a position to provide the right governance to help myself and our exec team achieve our goals in 2017 and beyond.

Originally founded in 2014 with a B2C app by the same name, Postr then teamed up with Skinny Mobile in New Zealand last year to create its first white label app, Skinny Collect. All up, these apps have generated over 60,000 downloads in New Zealand since their inceptions.

“New Zealand is a fantastic testing ground, but from a commercial perspective just too small a market to stay put,” Reinartz says. “Our intention has always been to eventually grow globally, with an initial focus on large developing markets in South East Asia where Android is dominating and mobile penetration growing incredibly fast.