Inside Remerge: Part IPosted on May 19, 2015
What is your role within Remerge?
Pan: I am the CEO of Remerge so I mainly take care of the shareholders, investors, strategy, product and HR.
Martin: I am the CTO of Remerge and I’m taking care of everything technical at Remerge.
What is your background and how did you come to Remerge?
Pan: We both co-founded madvertise in 2008 so we got into the mobile advertising space relatively early. I personally left madvertise in 2013 and was running around as a mobile ad tech expert and did some freelancing work for different companies. At the beginning of 2014, I focused on something new. The idea was to think and evaluate ‘what is the next big thing in mobile advertising?’ That was the beginning of Remerge. The evaluation process gave birth to Remerge.
Martin: I got here because Pan asked me really nicely! I was working at LiquidM until 2014, when Pan called and said ‘I have an awesome new idea, would you want to join?’ I heard that other really cool people were also going to join and I said yes. It was a really easy decision.
Pan: It was March 2014 and it was already clear at this time how the product would look and what the focus was going to be. I focused on building the team. We are 5 co-founders. We were friends before so we were in very close contact about this but it was relatively difficult to put the team together as, at the time, everyone had jobs in different companies. In the end everyone came together, said yes we are going to do this, quit his old job and agreed on participating. It was a little bit of luck and good timing that Martin and the other co-founders wanted to join.
Martin: The main reason for joining up with Pan is that we used to work together in the past and it had worked really well. It was really important to us to work with people who we knew we could work with and who had done a great job in the past, so it was an easy decision.
Did you grow up in an entrepreneurial environment?
Pan: I experienced working in smaller and bigger companies and in my last year at university it became relatively clear that I wanted to take the entrepreneurial path, which is what I did. I grew up in an entrepreneurial environment, my parents owned a restaurant, where I worked and learned a lot. My first real job post-university was co-founding madvertise in 2008 and I am still running around in startups! It is really fun and exciting. It was a really good decision.
Martin: It was similar for me. It was encouraged by my university to follow the entrepreneurial path. The university was funded by a guy who had done so and got rich with it, so after testing out the waters at some bigger companies, I also decided to do something on my own. That is what I did straight out of university with artmesh, my first startup, madvertise and now Remerge.
You have great experience in founding startups! Can you elaborate on what you have learnt over the years/things to avoid/implement?
Pan: That is quite funny as we were just discussing this over lunch! What you don’t learn at university, of course, is really this whole investment side of it, how to deal with the investors and shareholders and going forward, which is a really key piece for growing a company and the team. We learnt quite a lot about it during our madvertise times and, from the beginning, it was something we would do better. The learning relates to the structure of the company, how to achieve that everyone is successfully, operationally working as part of the success story and will get something from it. The focus is, firstly, to find a structure and a system inside the company in order to grow and execute really well and, secondly, to motivate all the people involved and to give something back in the end to everyone who worked towards the success of Remerge. I hope that we will have a really good set up and that going forward this will be achieved.
Martin: We learnt so many different things over the years, it’s hard to name them all. However, what I consider to be the most important is the team. That’s something you hear a lot but it’s something you only really appreciate after you went through a phase where there was a lot of hassle with the team, when you hired the wrong people and had to fire them. The most important learning is to have a really good team and to try to keep it a really good team over time. Hiring is super important and not something you should compromise on.