More telco customers to get freebies for renting phone to advertisers

Postr, a Wellington-based ad-tech company which builds telecom-branded white-label apps allowing people to hire out their Android lock screens for advertising, is gearing up to expand into the telecommunications markets in Australia and south-east Asia after attracting interest from investors.


Postr recently provided the technology for Optus to launch its Xtra service which gave users free data in exchange for watching ads it claimed were 100% viewable.

The Optus Xtra service gave the telco’s prepaid mobile customers the chance to earn either 1GB or $2 of credit per month on their plans by having ads displayed on their phone’s locked screen.

Android users who agree to download Post’s white-label apps get personalised advertising on the lockscreen of their phone or tablet. From there, they can either click to engage with the ad, or unlock and use their device as normal. Regardless of engagement, or the amount of ads a user sees, they earn a reward from their telco provider, ranging from 200MBs to 1GB of monthly mobile data, call time or other credits.

Telcos across the world have increasingly been rolling out similar services with Australian start-up Unlockd striking a deal with Lebara Mobile in 2015.

Postr’s capital raising gives the brand an additional $3 million for its APAC expansion, enabling it to soon launch more telcom-branded apps in major south-east Asian markets, a statement from the ad-tech company said.

Milan Reinartz, the company’s founder and CEO, said Postr’s apps have converted around 1.5% of the New Zealand population and helped mobile operators increase ARPU (monthly average revenue per user), however the group needed to expand its focus.

“New Zealand is a fantastic testing ground, but from a commercial perspective, just too small a market to stay put. Our intention has always been to eventually grow globally, with an initial focus on large developing markets in south-east Asia where Android is dominating and mobile penetration growing incredibly fast,” he said.

“Sponsored data is a phenomenon on the rise, with mobile data being the most sought after source of connectivity. In the meantime, telco ARPUs are shrinking as people are no longer willing to pay for minutes or SMS, instead using OTT providers like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger to make calls and send texts.”

The investment was lead by a group of private investors in Singapore and had support from Indonesia’s Gunwung Sewu Group, K1W1, NZVIF (New Zealand Venture Investment Fund), senior leadership from PayPal in the US, as well as previous investors and individuals from Singapore and New Zealand.


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