An Interview with MoboBeat’s Tyrone DSouza

Tyrone DSouza is the brain behind Mobobeat, a brand new Goa-based company involved in algorithmic ad serving. With his experience, industry connections and and scalable business model, Tyrone is on his way to something big. We met him at our last web folks meetup and interviewed him shortly after. Excerpts:

Tell us the story of Mobobeat’s inception.

Our parent company is the well-known mobile affiliate marketing company ‘Cool Mobile group’ based in Madrid, Spain, whose revenues today are close to $1mn a month. It was eight months ago, that I first got in touch with them – they were my clients for InMobi, whom I was then handling sales for, in the EMEA region. We hit it off immediately and the topic of their dearth of experience in handling mainstream media came up in our conversations. I realised this was an opportunity I could take up, and we started discussing terms beyond InMobi.

Soon, I decided to quit InMobi and begun running all Cool Mobile ads on multiple ad networks beyond InMobi. It was around this time that the idea of Mobobeat came about. I was in Bangalore back then, and had always wanted to return to Goa. My family runs Libra Computers here and business runs in my blood. So I took the leap and moved back home to launch Mobobeat. Our company determines which ads work well on which inventory.

Give us a little background of your professional experience.

I did my BSc in Microbiology at Xaviers College, Mapusa, after which I picked up an MBA at St Joseph’s, Bangalore. But it was only after passing out of there, that I got introduced to internet marketing and SEO through a friend. I took up an internship and worked part time, to get a hang of the system.

My first job was with a startup in Bangalore where I supervised a three-member team and handled SEO, SMM, PPC etc. I worked there for a year. Initially, I had an idea to launch a medical portal like Healthcare Magic – but that didn’t work out – so I moved to InMobi and worked there for close to four years.

What was your experience working with InMobi like?

Eventful! I started out with ad operations, moved to Singapore and built a team there for the company. I did the same in China. China was a truly, for the lack of a better word, ‘unique’ experience! I couldn’t get a long term visa there – so I had to renew my visa every month. Food was a challenge as well. In the end, I moved back to India, to inMobi’s Bangalore division.

Describe the work Mobobeat does.

Our entire business is based out of Goa, even as the product is based out of Spain. The business model is based on app developers wanting to monetize their inventory, earning money via the app on one end and advertisers who want to place ads on the other. So it is very similar to mobile ad networks – the only difference is that Mobobeat is performance-based. It does not work on a CPC system, but a pay-per-install one.

How is building a business in Goa different?

Building a business in Goa is rewarding but also challenging. In my years of traveling across the globe for work, I found that there is no other place offering the quality of life that Goa has. This is why I chose Goa to set up my business. The biggest challenge I faced was finding quality talent. I could not find anyone in Goa with the desired skill-set, and so I was forced to hunt for talent elsewhere. Also, being a start-up, many good candidates were apprehensive about relocating to Goa.

Having said that, I believe we young entrepreneurs of Goa can change its touristy image and make Goa a Hub for business, so that young Goans would no longer have to move out in search of jobs.

Are there any Goan companies or individuals that Mobobeat partners with?

Our key focus  markets currently is Western Europe and UK. India is an emerging market with the fastest growing mobile user-base in the world. We will definitely be focusing on India too in the coming months. In Goa, we are negotiating with a couple of game development studios and agencies looking to promote their products to an international audience.

What’s in the pipeline for Mobobeat?

At present our focus at Mobobeat has been working with mobile Game App Developers.  We plan to expand other verticals like brand, e-commerce and travel. We also plan to set-up offices in China and US which are our fastest growing markets. As our team is expanding, we are on the constant lookout for quality talent. Our aim is to hit $ 1 Million $ revenue / month by 2015.