Tech Innovator Smadex gives mobile ad buyers transparency 

We've all heard about the power of mobile, and the ways in which brands can build scale through targeted advertising. Now tech start-up Smadex is providing the tools to gauge success.

The previously unchartered world of mobile brings with it opportunity and risk in equal measures as those engaging with it seek services to help decide where money is spent well, and where it is not.

For tech innovator Smadex, the requirement for transparency and flexibility in mobile advertising has created a business opportunity.


Based in: London and Barcelona

Founded in: 2011

No. of employees: 17

Company founder: Jordi de los Pinos                 

Smadex founder Jordi de los Pinos

Founder profile:

Jordi de los Pinos is founder, CEO and chief scientist at Smadex. He holds business and engineering degrees from MIT, Telecom Paris, and Politecnic University at Barcelona. He worked for eight years at Qualcomm, designing chips for cell phones and planes, as well as three years at Telefonica, where he was in charge of the development of Giffgaff (UK based MVNO) and of the Telefonica CDN.

Background business profile:

Smadex is a mobile DSP with proprietary real-time bidding technology and machine learning optimisation algorithms designed for performance and branding campaigns. It provides a way: for global mobile media buying to place ads in mobile devices globally; to include rich media and video ad formats; to connect to the major RTB exchanges and provide self-service and managed service options.

Inside track:

Jordi de los Pinos is one of a big bunch of entrepreneurs who saw the massive adoption of internet on smartphones as a business enabler, and set about creating his own offering.

Pairing with a co-founder who was experienced in digital advertising the two saw potential in mobile advertising for business – so much so that de los Pinos quit his job at Telefonica.

In 2011 Smadex raised €250,000 from a small investor in Spain who allowed them to get up and running. From the foundations of a small platform, the business initially struggled to scale up. That was when the shift to mobile advertising occurred, and instead of coupons it was any kind of ad.

The next trick was to integrate a real-time bidding function as a way of increasing supply, and from there the business took off.

Being located in London allows the start-up to be home to a thriving advertising, and now adtech, market. The development side of things has remained in Spain owing to the abundance of cheaper talent. This is an element the founding team is keen to maintain, with all three Spanish natives.

The big inflexion point for Smadex, de los Pinos says, came when the company unveiled its self-service platform in March. ‘Before clients would give us material and we would insert it, now clients can go and login to create for themselves – editing campaigns,’ he adds.

Smadex has now closed two seed funding deals, with takings now over the $1 million mark. Backers includ Cabiedes & Partners, 101 Startups, Trovit, and various business angels from the network IESE.

Recent milestones:

  • Opened London office in January 2014; revenues up 15x in first 5 months of the year
  • Launched Self Service platform in March 2014; enabled it to grow business to 70 accounts, running more than 200 campaigns daily
  • Achieved delivering 10 million mobile display ads per day globally in May 2014
  • Launched mobile video on mobile March 2014

Upcoming milestones:

  • Full support for native mobile advertising
  • Audience targeting via integration with major data management platforms
  • First cross-device campaign, targeting users on their phones after they visit a desktop web page
  • Full retargeting for mobile based on driving consumers along the sales funnel

Recent technology:

Smadex is one of the few DSPs with proprietary real-time bidding technology, self-service capabilities and an ad ops platform.

  • Able to process 40,000 auctions per second
  • Sophisticated machine learning algorithms that determine optimal bidding price in real-time for each individual auction
  • Rich media and video support


  • Self-service or managed service mobile DSP
  • Full transparency of inventory sources and prices
  • Cost-per-action and customer-lifetime-value optimisation modes
  • Standard banners, rich media or video formats
  • Real-time reporting and analytics


  • Integrations with MoPub (Twitter), Doubleclick (Google), Nexage, Flurry and Inneractive
  • Agreements with GroupM, Fetch, Saatchi, Yodel Mobile, SocialPoint, etc


  • Cabiedes and Partners
  • Trovit
  • HighGrowth Partners

Contact details:

Llacuna 162, 08018 Barcelona

Tel: +34 638 823 294



View all 23 companies contained within Tech Innovators list.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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