Companies want your data to be able to target you with advertisements to make you purchase more things. Yes, we completely understand that data is the new currency. But what about the mechanism to develop and display these ads?

This industry is called adtech and seems poised to blow up in Southeast Asia.

However, the industry is one facet of the internet economy in Southeast Asia that, although largely untapped, is turning the heads of start-ups and investors as a source of future prosperity. Hand in hand with the region-wide smartphone phenomenon and eCommerce, AdTech is predicted to show major growth in the coming years.

It is evolving and now brands are starting to catch up that beyond the creatives, there is a need to deliver these ads to consumers. Having billions of data points is awesome, but what do you actually do with it?

The need for automation, programmatic ad-buying and even image recognition is essential in today’s fast-paced digital mediums. Therefore, startups are beginning to gain significant traction in the industry and Southeast Asia has a quite a potential industry leaders.

We look at the top 5 adtech startups in the region that have the potential to dominate 2020.

ADBRO, Malaysia

ADBRO is an in-image programmatic marketing platform for publishers and advertisers and has been funded by 500 Startups.

This Malaysian startup provides computer vision enhanced ads that are placed over contextually relevant images across publishers in the key markets of Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The proprietary technologies are in computer vision and machine learning that scan the articles, images, and other content types, allowing the platform to use programmatically accessible in-image formats for advertisers.

Cashtree, Indonesia

This Indonesian adtech startup has been growing significantly since launch. Cashtree apparently has over 12 million registered users since the app’s debut in 2015. The startup also secured US$4 million Series A funding from Korea Investment Partners and K Cube Ventures, now known as Kakao Ventures.

The startup has now evolved into a digital agency as well, extending its services to offer more traditional advertising consultancy and support.

AdEasy, Malaysia

Breaking the trend is AdEasy, this Malaysian startup founded by industry veterans Melissa Sim and Therine Goh, have focused their efforts on growing the offline advertising market.

Therine Goh and Melissa Sim from AdEasy

The adtech startup has grown steadily through multiple rounds of private funding and a very successful crowdfunding campaign as well.

They have aggressive plans to expand according to COO Therine.

We are planning to enter Singapore and Thailand next year. We do have interest from Vietnam and the Philippines. We might consider these markets as well, if our feasibility studies show positive insights.

AdEasy is bringing offline advertising to the startup world

PocketMath, Singapore

According to their website, PocketMath is the world’s largest, pure self-serve, mobile demand-side platform (DSP) for real-time bidding (RTB). The startup provides brands and advertisers immediate access to the world’s supply of mobile RTB inventory – to buy smartphone and tablet ad impressions, within apps, games, and mobile websites, all in real-time.

The company has definitely been doing something right, as they have raised over US$10 million in funding since they started in 2011.

Primo, Thailand

Primo is a data-driven cross promotion platform that enables retailers to reach new customers by cross-promoting with other retailers. Customers are given loyalty points which can be redeemed at partner retailers.

The platform is also capable of member-targeting and generating redemption analytics which has helped them close notable clients such as Robinson, Kooup, Power Buy, and The1.

The Thailand-based startup focuses on helping enterprise marketers by utilizing consumer data and membership that they already have.

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