Media and Games Invest expands executive team and board to get ready for accelerated future growth
- MGI's Online Games Unit is showing strong growth while now also being strengthened with the recent KingsIsle acquisition. However also the synergetic Media Unit is increasingly important for the Gaming Unit but also externally shows strong growth across its digital advertising marketplace as well as innovating in areas such as Connected-TV and Privacy & Identity
- Based on the excellent development and potential of the media unit (branded "Verve Group") Sameer Sondhi, Chief Revenue Officer, and Ionut Ciobotaru, Chief Product Officer, will join the executive top management team of MGI
- The non-executive board will be expanded with Antonius Fromme, the Chief Customer Experience Officer of Freenet AG, who will be adding media and marketing expertise to the team
- Further additions and changes to MGI's Top Management team on the gaming side will broaden the top management as part of the scaling
04 February 2021 - Media and Games Invest ("MGI" or the "Company", ISIN: MT0000580101; Ticker M8G; Nasdaq First North Premier Growth Market and Scale Segment Frankfurt Stock Exchange), announces the expansion of the executive top management team and a new addition to the board. This is MGI's response to the overall growth of MGI Group and the strong combination of its gaming and media units.
MGI's Media Unit branded under Verve Group, which was started approximately 4 years ago by acquiring media companies such as Mediakraft, Applift, PubNative, Platform161 as well as the latest acquisition LKQD, is showing strong organic growth. Next to adding a strong competitive advantage to MGI's Games Unit it is becoming a substantial player in the global media space. The Verve Group has shifted its focus in the past few years to the future oriented programmatic and advertising-technology segments with a strong focus on the sustainable SaaS model. Main growth driver for the Verve Group next to synergies and media volumes from MGI's Games Unit is M&A. This is underscored by already more than 10 M&A transactions in the media segment since 2016 (versus well over 20 acquisitions on the online games side since 2013). The strong and innovative tech focus on programmatic advertising is benefitting these days directly from the strong underlying organic growth of the advertisers and publishers of the Verve Group.
Verve Group is now through the successful integration of it's more than 10 acquisitions one of the very few players in the digital advertising market, that can offer a fully integrated technology platform. That platform includes a Demand Side Platform (DSP), Data Management Platform (DMP), Supply Side Platform (SSP) in combination with a strong in App SDK base (possibility to serve ads in-Apps). For all major ad formats globally, Verve Group is facing fast organic growth. Especially in the mobile games vertical. Based on company data Verve 's open exchange is now within the top 20 programmatic marketplaces worldwide. Through the recent acquisition of the Video Platform "LKQD" from Nexstar Digital Inc. we now also added excellent video capabilities as well as a strong supply position in smart TV and OTT which are already showing significant growth. Based on its experience in the Games Unit, MGI has also build a platform for the media unit, where all acquired media companies are integrated which leads eg. to optimized development processes, consolidated expertise, critical mass as well as cost advantages. Also, to emphasize the focus of MGI on mobile games several strong games companies such as e.g. Zynga and King, but also other digital companies like Amazon have been added as partners and are counting on MGI's media capabilities.
MGI's media unit Verve Group is also profiting from the overall strong market growth of the programmatic digital advertising market which is expected to continue in the coming years. While overall advertising spend has declined by approximately 5% in 2020 due to the Corona pandemic, digital advertising spend has been robust and increasing. eMarketer expects strong growth in digital advertising in the coming years. Revenues are expected to increase to USD 526bn worldwide, which would correspond to a CAGR of approximately 12% between 2020 and 2024.
To emphasize the importance and further potential of the Verve Group, the board of MGI has decided to strengthen its executive management team and has appointed Sameer Sondhi (Chief Revenue Officer), and Ionut Ciobotaru (Chief Product Office) as members of the executive top management team of MGI. Sameer is a true industry veteran with more than 20+ years' experience in the digital advertising segment. He joined MGI in May 2020 from InMobi. Previously Sameer held executive positions at Opera Media, GroundTruth, Infospace and LiveWire. Ionut Ciobotaru is responsible for technology and product of MGI's Media Unit. Ionut founded ad tech supply side platform PubNative and has more than 15 years of experience in the ad tech industry, previously working for Applift, Weebo and Electronic Arts.
Also, the management of the Games Unit was strengthened by promoting several key employees such as Andreas Weidenhaupt, Mervin Lee Kwai, Thomas Kothuis and Miguel Oliveira to become members of gamigo's top management team. Stefan Rascher (CSO, MGI) who has been working for MGI since the beginning of 2018 will leave the company but will continue to support us as an external consultant for future oriented growth projects.
Members of MGI's C-level team remain Remco Westermann (CEO), Paul Echt (CFO), Jens Knauber (COO MGI and CEO gamigo).
Also, on the board level -as already announced earlier- Antonius Fromme will add media and marketing expertise to the board. Antonius is Chief Customer Experience Officer at Freenet AG and worked previously at the telecommunication company debitel AG. Antonius has to be elected at the next shareholders meeting which is currently being prepared. The other members of the board remain Elizabeth Para, Tobias M. Weitzel (Deputy Chairman), and Remco Westermann (Chairman).
CEO Remco Westermann: "We have seen a 40+ % year on year revenue growth in the last 6 years, first time passing the Euro 100 million revenues in 2020. With the recent transformative KingsIsle acquisition, strong growth in online games as well as a strong growing media unit we decided to extend the executive management team to reflect this strong growth and further future potential. Based on our new structure we will be able to cope with further accelerated organic as well as non-organic growth. I am very happy that the Verve Group is overachieving versus expectations and became a major innovative player in the advertising technology segment."
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About Media and Games Invest
Media and Games Invest plc (MGI), is a fast-growing and profitable company operating in the digital games sector with a strong supportive media unit and a focus on North America & EMEA. The company combines organic growth with value-accretive acquisitions, delivering strong and sustainable earnings growth. Since 2014 the MGI Group has successfully acquired more than 30 companies and assets which are integrated onto our platform, exploiting efficiency-enhancing technologies such as the cloud. The Company's shares are listed on Nasdaq First North Premier Growth Market in Stockholm and the Scale segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
The Company's certified advisor on Nasdaq First North Premier Growth Market is FNCA Sweden AB; [email protected], +46-8-528 00 399.