The applike group is a Hamburg-based company that aims to change the way commerce in mobile apps and games is done. Our vision is to create everything you need to monetize and acquire users for your app business. Today we have three independent companies with complementary technologies and business models.
It might sound a bit abstract, so let me go into the details: Sunday creates and publishes some incredibly popular hyper casual mobile games. adjoe is an in-app ad network and hosts our award-winning ‘Playtime’ ad product, an ad unit that rewards users who play games. Finally, justDice operates discovery apps that recommend new third-party games to users based on their behavior and preferences.
justDice has grown into one of the world’s largest consumers of mobile ads – with the intention of expanding its user base – alongside companies such as Wish and TikTok. You may have also heard of Sunday’s Cat Escape game. It went viral in late 2020, topping the US game charts for several weeks. At adjoe, we have over 100 advertising partners including Jamcity, Playtika, Playrix and Funplus. Our ads are served in 180 countries, reaching over 100 million smartphone users worldwide each month.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
We have seen and still see huge potential in the app economy. Increasingly, businesses across industries are relying on mobile to reach their key target groups. The need for new opportunities for advertising in apps or games is increasing at a very rapid rate. We believe that users deserve good quality apps, content, and advertising delivered to them. Ultimately, we want to reach all smartphone users around the world with our technologies.
For my part, I see money as a path to independence and creativity rather than a status symbol. And this is reflected in my journey. Growing up, my mother was a teacher. She raised me alone and we led a modest life. I made money giving piano lessons to other children after school. I saved this money and bought my first grand piano with it. To this day, these values guide the way I live my life and run businesses.
How has the business evolved during the pandemic?
With the tremendous growth of mobile games during the pandemic, we realized the positive impact we could have on society through our products – as well as triple-digit revenue growth rates. Globally, we’ve used our award-winning advertising technology to direct users to official COVID-19 tracking apps. When a user installs and uses a COVID-19 app after seeing the ad, they are given the app’s currency. With our Playtime ad unit, users continue to receive rewards for using these official apps for subsequent interactions, encouraging them to engage for the long term rather than one-off. We have generated hundreds of thousands of app installs for COVID-19 tracking apps, playing a role in helping people protect themselves all over the world.
More generally, the various international bottlenecks have resulted in incredible growth for the global app economy. All aspects of our life, such as work, education, socialization and entertainment, were then conducted almost exclusively through our digital devices. For the applike group, this means that we will approximately quadruple sales in 2021 compared to last year. And we’ve hired around 50 new colleagues since the start of the pandemic.
What can we expect to see from applike in the future?
We are on track to reach millions of euros in triple-digit annual revenue by the end of 2021, an important milestone for us. Sunday is fast becoming one of the world’s leading publishers of hyper casual games, helping small developers make their games a success! Fingers crossed, adjoe will crush the next Appsflyer Growth Index – the most important index for ad networks in the app economy.
We want to recruit another 100 team members in the next 12-18 months. And we could have a fourth company by the end of the year, so stay tuned. Of course, we are always looking for new ways to develop our products and expand our offering to our customers so that they can continue to monetize and attract high quality traffic to their applications. We are just getting started.