AdTech Bucks the Trend

Although advertising sales have declined worldwide as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, adtech is thriving. Germany has a number of hotspots of innovation and entrepreneurship.

August 2021

Liftoff chose a heck of a time to expand to Germany. The Californian adtech company, which helps companies acquire and retain high-quality mobile app users, opened its Berlin office last year, just as the coronavirus pandemic hit. “Working with leading brands and app publishers, we reached a portfolio size where we felt it was necessary to hire people on the ground to be closer to our clients,” says Bastian Winterkemper, Liftoff’s head of sales in Germany. “Of course, with the pandemic we stick to digital face-time now.”

The coronavirus era has not been kind to advertising in general – spending has dropped 11.9 percent globally. And yet the mobile adtech space has benefited, with sales in the sector increasing last year by 26 percent to USD 240 billion, according to industry analytics resource App Annie.

In Germany, the 2021 outlook is excellent, with expected growth of 19.4 percent (or EUR 5.35 billion), according to eMarketer. One major reason for this is innovation, driven by artificial intelligence. In fact, despite Germany’s reputation for being slow to digitalize, the German market is nearly as large as the next three European ones combined (EUR 28.5 billion). That’s why Liftoff started a recruitment drive in Germany at an otherwise precarious time. “Berlin has a big talent pool in the adtech scene,” says Winterkemper. “That will help us to accelerate our growth and support even more marketers across Germany.”

»Berlin has a big talent pool in the adtech scene.«

Bastian Winterkemper
head of sales, Liftoff

Germany has seen the birth of a number of adtech companies that specialize in the many niches that this sector offers. GTAI’s digital industries expert Oliver Wilken explains: “Essentially, Germany is triply interesting for adtech. There are a lot of players who use the services, there are a lot of end consumers, and there are a lot of potential recruits. And Germany is home to many companies on the Forbes list of most valuable brands, which are potential clients.”

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