Interview: Passendo’s growth and scaling internationally

Passendo is a Copenhagen-based adtech startup that operates within email marketing in a novel way. This interview is with its founders Andreas Jürgensen and Anders Ratzau Rasmussen, who are Passendo’s CEO and CCO respectively. We talk with them about their business and background, and about scaling a startup.

Welcome, Anders and Andreas! We are glad to have you here at Øresund Startup News. Tell us briefly about the startup you have founded.
Thank you for having us! To best explain what we do, let me first explain how much the technology behind online advertising developed in the last decade. When you are looking at a website, while you are waiting for the page – and the ads – to load, a live auction is held, for one and every ad placement. In this action hundreds of companies can use the data they have to create a bid strategy and bid, and the highest bidder wins the auction. This is all controlled by high tech algorithms and machine learning, and is very clever stuff. At Passendo we want to bring all this development into emails – the area that has been left behind in all this tech development!

What made you start the company? What kind of demand have you noticed?
We have seen tremendous development happening in the ad world, which is my background, and Anders has been working very seriously with email for many years. We started talking about this gap a few years ago, and soon the idea of starting Passendo was formed.

So who are your biggest clients?
In the Nordics we are working with most of the media houses, but I can mention Bonnier Publishing, Berlingske Group, and we have recently signed with a big American partner whom is onboarding more than 300 media organizations.

What makes Passendo different from other adtech companies? What are the main features of Passendo?
Today our clients can manage the advertising space in all their newsletters from one place. Once we started helping them commercialize their newsletters too, business really took off!

We have heard that Passendo is expanding further. Which regions or countries will Passendo enter in the nearest future?
We have an office in Dubai, are traveling to Germany ten times per year, and our first US partnership just happened, so we are quite excited these days!

How do you see the development of your company in the next 5 years?
We are working so hard to internationalize our concept these days, so I really hope to see us succeed internationally. I hope we can manage the growth in just the right way, while also building a company where a bunch of people can have a blast working every day.

What is your biggest challenge right now?
It’s always a challenge to hire the right people, and, as we are in many markets, we are also hiring people from different cultures, that’s always fun and sometimes a challenge. On the business front we are working with very large organizations, and they do not always move as fast as we could wish for, but we are learning to work around that now!

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