Krishna Subramanian, the chief marketing officer of the mobile marketing agency Velti and co-founder of ad exchange Mobclix, which Velti acquired, has resigned from the troubled agency.
In an email, Subramanian writes, “As many of you already know I have moved on from Velti. I am grateful to have co-founded Mobclix and humbled by the part it has played in shaping the mobile advertising space. The roller-coaster ride through the acquisition & integration at Velti was an incredible learning experience and ultimately led me back to the search for that underlying spark that burns within to solve problems and do big things.” Subramanian hinted he has a new project in the works that is “keeping me up at night” which he promised to reveal soon.
Until recently, Velti was enjoying enormous growth with more than 1,000 employees around the world. The London-based firm raised roughly $150 million in a US IPO in 2011, and its clients included many of the world’s biggest mobile operators such as Vodafone, Orange, Verizon, AT&T, and China Mobile, as well as established brands and publishers.
However, word started to spread that Velti was having difficulties paying its developers, with some claiming that the company was months behind in its payments. In May, the company laid off 200 employees and took a $111 million writedown in this year’s second quarter. Velti has also been forced to sell Mobclix as customers continue to abandon the business.
Velti’s troubles could be a reflection of larger industry trends. Marketers are increasingly focused on omni-channel campaigns that work across devices versus mobile-specific campaigns. While companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter are reporting impressive gains in mobile advertising, their success is largely due to their ability to sell ad products across platforms.
In addition, companies that are taking their marketing efforts in-house or experimenting with automated real-time bidding exchanges further hurts companies like Velti. Velti attempted to automate its services by acquiring Mobclix, but it continued to lose money.