Freespee

London calling, yes, now we're there too!

Times are getting more and more exciting here at the Freespee kitchen. Over the year, we have cooked up some seriously delicious treats, like our new logo and website, and the revamp of the Freespee platform. But who said that should be all?
We’ve been really happy about a couple of big things happening behind the scenes in the past few months, and we are glad we can finally share our excitement with you.
Remember we told you our year has been very interesting? It also included office moves (we settled in our new Uppsala home back in July) and set ourselves on a quest to win new territories (London and Berlin). Well, there’s something more to add here: We are very proud to announce that we have moved our headquarters to the Rainmaking Loft in the heart of the St. Katharine’s Docks in London!
Yes, you heard right. We are now Londoners!
As we were growing out of the old Freespee shoes, this move became more than a natural step for us, and we felt the time couldn’t be more right. Of course, Uppsala will always be our dearest home, and we wouldn’t trade Swedish summer for anything in the world!
This exciting new adventure for the Freespee family has been accompanied by the appointment of a very important Freespeean: Thomas Sevège, who has taken the role of chief commercial officer (CCO). Tom comes to Freespee after years of experience with Tradedoubler and AOL’s BeOn, where he was vice president of EMEA operations, and head of business development, respectively. Tom is, above all, an amazing sauce cook and, to be honest, his talents aren’t limited to that, but we will keep the rest a secret. We are more than happy to have him onboard!
We are proud of what we achieved in the past twelve months, and can’t wait to see what the next hold for us. One thing is sure: we are on fire!
Thank you for your support!
And if you are ever in London, we’d love you to join us for afternoon tea!

On photo: Freespeeans in discussion at our new office at the Rainmaking Loft

 

The beginning of a new era

In the past few months, it’s been very dynamic over here at Freespee. We have gone through important transformations: moving into shiny new office in Uppsala, adding 10 more talented members to the Freespee family, and growing our customer base significantly. We’ve also opened a new Freespee Berlin office and we’ve settled a team in good ol’ London! (We can’t wait to share with you all the glam around that soon, so watch this space.)

We have inevitably come to the point where we realized that, following all the development, we had grown out of the old Freespee like one grows out of old shoes. One of the things we are pretty good at here, at Freespee, is killing our darlings in our strive for the better.

It’s today that we’re marking the beginning of a new era for Freespee. A long anticipated transformation that incorporates our wish to manifest Freespee’s true personality: vivid and innovative.

Here it is! After months of tireless work, brainstorming, development, design and planning, it’s finally here! Today, we can’t be happier to announce the official launch of the new Freespee website and brand.

Let’s be honest, the old website didn’t give much justice for Freespee. That’s why, building the new Freespee has been a great journey for us. Thanks to the feedback and support from customers, partners and friends, we’ve come to rethink the structure and layout of Freespee.com, and we’ve given new life to the Freespee flower. Of course, it is still green (well, it’s a bit greener), so don’t panic!

We can’t wait to hear what you think of the new Freespee! And last, but not least, thank you for staying with us for all these years and being an important part of Freespee’s development.

 On photo: Our UX designer Christian is adding final touch to the new freespee.com

Freespee introduces Real Time Bidding connected to MoPub and MADS from day 1

Enterprise marketers using the Freespee platform already know the benefits of automated optimization with our plugins for display ad networks, including Zanox, Tradedoubler, Webgains, AdTraction and others.

But when it comes to mobile display ads, our customers have been facing bigger challenges. Until now, even embedding the Freespee script on a mobile website to link a phone call back to the click and impression, didn’t allow data-driven decision making.

At Freespee, our mission is quite simple: make display advertising perform as efficiently as, if not better than search.

As this is not the case for businesses whose customers want to speak to someone before they buy, we used our programmatic skills to fix this problem. First, we built a bidding tool, now available to everyone on our Premium plan. It’s a pretty skillful piece of code (if we say so ourselves), that bids on single impressions in real time and makes its bidding decisions based on the data collected by the Freespee script on your mobile web site. It’s 100% automated. And, it’s the only bidding software that takes into account that many of the visitors to your website prefer to call you, rather than fill out your contact form. In fact, our customer data indicates that 80% of the online visitors choose to call before buying from service businesses.

The first mobile Real Time Bidding (RTB) inventory we’ve connected was the world’s largest – MoPubrecently acquired by Twitter, which means that soon you will be able to bid for ad placement on Twitter in real time, using Freespee.

In addition, we’ve just added MADS, the boutique mobile SSP and Multi-screen Ad Server, to get better European reach.

But what’s especially nice is that once you have your banners in hand, it’ll take you no more than 5 minutes to launch a mobile campaign with Freespee.

So – what’s in this for you, as a marketer?

With the Freespee Real Time Bidder you’re now able to place mobile display ads more intelligently – and in real time. Freespee makes new bidding decisions in less than 200 milliseconds, based on the conversion data collected on your mobile website.

And best of all, for Freespee Premium customers, the only fee for using our data driven bidding tool is a small 10% commission fee on the budget managed by the Freespee bidder. No setup fees. No hidden fees. No managed service fees.

Simple as always.

Get in touch with us if you want to learn more and get started.

Season's Greetings from Freespee

It’s that time of the year again – looking back at accomplishments, setting sights for the upcoming year and spending some relaxing, quality time with friends and family.

It’s been another big year for Freespee – thanks to you and people spending more and more time browsing internet on their smartphones. This converts to increased click-to-call usage: 128% higher on mobile than on desktop advertising. During 2012 Freespee has:
  • Tripled the call traffic managed by our platform
  • Started to work directly with advertisers, who are all as excited as us when they see how successful mobile click-to-call campaigns can drive revenue
  • Introduced a self-serve offer, which can be used by small business owners. Anyone is welcome to use Freespee: there is even a 100% free version for start-ups!
The year 2012 was also when we invested heavily in Freespee Ads, a new product that has been running in stealth mode, where the ambition is to make it possible for any marketer to run mobile display advertising that converts like search. In the beginning of 2013, we will start inviting new clients to run their campaigns – if you have a mobile app, please sign-up and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as we can.
Forget everything you have learnt so far about advertising targeting. This is pure mathematics and programmatic buying!
We look forward to working with you in 2013 to further explore the exciting world of mobile advertising.

Wish you all Merry Christmas & Prosperous New Year 2013!

Picture: Freespee headquarters in Uppsala, Sweden

Welcome to the New Freespee!

Today is a big day for Freespee – and we are indeed very excited.
We are happy to announce that Freespee has raised a €3.3 million financing round from a new investor, Denmark’s Sunstone Capital. Please find the full press release in English, Swedish, Finnish and German.
You can also find coverage of the news on TechCrunch.
There are plenty of things happening, which we will tell more about soon – but here’s a summary:

  • Our average daily call traffic has increased 4X since 2011 – most attributed to traffic from smartphone apps and browsing
  • We now allow advertisers to sign-up directly for Freespee Analytics
  • We have announced a new product called Freespee Ads (beta)
  • We will soon open a new commercial office in London, United Kingdom
  • We are hiring – several positions open in Uppsala and Berlin

Despite all the new things, we continue mobile click-to-call advertising innovation and full-steam development of the Freespee platform, as well as continue to fully support anyone using or wanting to use our platform through the Freespee API.
I would like to thank all our partners, clients, team members, investors and other stakeholders. So far so good – this is only the beginning of the Mobile Era.
Please drop me an email or call if you have any questions about today’s news.
Thank you and best regards,
Carl Holmquist
Founder & CEO of Freespee (contact info)
P.S. You can follow our updates on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and subscribe to our blog by RSS.

Welcoming New People, Open Position For A Senior Developer

The Freespee team is growing again and we’d like to give a warm welcome to Jessica (Partner Services) as well as Hannes (Finance & Control) – you can learn more about them below. Great to have you on board!
We would also like to remind about an open position for a Senior Developer in our joyful and intensely skilled platform development team. More information about the position and how to apply can be found at https://en.freespee.com/jobs – please apply by Februry 1st.
Looking forward to an exciting spring in the Call Advertising business!

Jessica Ogden | Director, Partner Service
Jessica brings 8 years of experience in the area of Customer Service and Delivery to Freespee. During her time as a delivery coordinator at IP-Only, Jessica managed delivery projects to large enterprises with high-powered telecom services. Jessica also has a background in planning and coordinating operational works at Com Hem as well as leading the production of photo finishing at Kodak Nordic.

Hannes Engdahl | CFO
Hannes has experience from a wide range of industries, including IT and Telecom, from positions within business analysis and finance control in organizations that have experienced rapid change, as the online casino provider Net Entertainment, the telco IP-Only, and the packaging recycler Svenska Returpack. His background also covers management consulting within KPMG, with a focus on IT-related change projects for organizations in both private and public sectors.

Hannes holds an MSc in Business and Economics and a BSc in Computer Science, both from the University of Uppsala.

Welcoming a new Freespee team member: Vanessa Wu

Today we are very happy and proud to introduce our latest team member:
Vanessa Wu – VP, Strategy & Affiliate Relations
Vanessa has long international career within advertising and strategy development. She joined Freespee after being responsible for Product Planning of Search, Maps, and Advertising business at Microsoft’s Windows Phone division. Prior to that, she worked at Google, HP, and McKinsey. She was the co-founder of a boutique media consulting firm in Asia, and her global clients include eBay, Acer, and other major telecom operators in the region. She studied management at Harvard University and holds an MBA from Boston University School of Management.
Warm welcome to the Freespee team Vanessa!
With these great news we would like to thank everyone for another record year for Freespee – and wish all our business partners, call advertisers and publishers Happy New Year 2012!
Making Phone Calls Count | Since 2008

Introducing Calls as a Currency

Three years ago we started Freespee. We were then a bunch of telecom geeks with a vision to give small businesses an insight into internet advertising on their own terms. What does that mean?
My neighbour at the time was a dentist, who took patient bookings over the telephone. But he could not buy internet advertising and make it pay for the number of telephone bookings received as a result of the advertisement. Hence, Cost-Per-Call. As a matter of fact, he did not even receive a report on how many calls resulted from the advertisement, even though it was the only way for customers to do business with him. At best he could buy a ‘Click Package’. He always found this difficult since he had no idea as to what it would give him.
Consequently, he continued to buy advertisements in the printed Yellow Pages. There, customers could only call him, so it felt right even if he did not know if he was getting any new customer calls that way either.
Now things are different for small business owners like him, and the Freespee team is on its way towards realising the vision. Lately, we have also reshaped the vision a little and made it easier to grasp.

 
Today Freespee introduces Calls as a Currency within internet advertising, as a compliment to Impressions and Clicks. In the space ofthree years we have managed to introduce this currency for internet advertising in 14 markets. In these times of financial unrest the Call currency is proving to be very strong. A price comparison site in the US that introduced calls as a currency for their advertisers saw a call price increase of 160% within the first ten days, right in the midst of the financial crisis.
 
In parallel, desktop browsing is moving to mobile browsing. For the last 12 months we are seeing extremely strong growth in the number of calls from internet advertising. In local mobile searches, according to Freespee’s statistics from 30,000 advertisers in 14 countries, there is one call for every two searches. On account of this, Google also joined the bandwagon a few weeks ago by beginning to offer Call bidding in AdWords. However, to begin with, this only works for advertisers in the US and the UK.
We are seeing a renaissance when it comes to inbound calls. It is now one of the strongest sales channels that previously had not been associated with internet advertising. Many companies have long been excluded from performance-based internet advertising (Cost-Per-Sales), due to their products being too complex for consumers to carry out their purchases online.
The travel industry is a typical example. Simple business trips are booked online, but how many family holidays with two adults, three children, hire-car, etc. are being booked online? Freespee is working with a number of affiliate networks that have been able to broaden their client base through introducing calls as a recognized currency, to the advantage of everybody.
Recently, a US price comparison site built its own Call bidding solution driven by the Freespee API. It took them two (2) days.
Learn more about benefits for Local Search, Affiliate Networks,Classified Publishers and Mobile Ad networks and contact us to include Calls in your business model!

Freespee Launches In The U.S. With The Digital Window Group

Just less than a year ago we started to explore new opportunities for our call advertising solution outside Local Search and Classified businesses.
Today we are very happy to announce Affiliate Window (UK) and buy.at (U.S. & UK) from the Digital Window group as new Freespee partners – and at the same time our expansion to the U.S. market.
In a very early phase we learned, that many big national advertisers were also dependent on calls as advertising currency – however, in performance advertising the Affiliate Networks were reluctant to include phone numbers in campaigns and for a valid reason: Phone numbers meant revenue leakage for the ad network and its publishers. Other way around, in call-intensive verticals those merchants were not able attract the most lucrative affiliates.
The new industry sector brought us also technical challenges: How to reliably track and attribute the caller from the landing page to the right affiliate, all the way to click level? How about billing, commission payments and real-time bidding and reporting? Last but not least, how to automatically determine commission level in CPA, based on the actual value of the transaction made over the phone?
During the year we have developed a solution together with some of the largest Affiliate Networks in the Europe. They join our cause of giving consumers the freedom of choice and Making Phone Calls Count for the online advertising industry.
Please see our joint Press Release belo for further information.
Affiliate Window and buy.at Team Up with Freespee for Next Generation Global Pay-Per-Call Solution