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What is's vision for marketplaces and what led the company to focus on them as a foundational element of its business strategy?

Andrew Yates

Co-founder & CEO at

We're going after where the value is, and we see the value in marketplaces. Our specialty is commercial media. You know commercial media in terms of Google, Facebook, Amazon -- it's extremely valuable to show people the right thing at the right time. That's what we've all built our careers around. Marketplaces are where this is both very valuable and very difficult. Since we're selling a technology solution, the difficulty needs to be there as well. Marketplaces are two-sided. They have critical, frequent inventory challenges, whereas for a general ecommerce site, maybe there are only ten items for sale. It's not as complicated, although it still benefits, and general ecommerce is something that we want to expand into in the future. But we believe that we can solve the most challenging and the most valuable problems first, and then as we expand, we can gradually go after marginally less valuable types of problems using the technology that we've already built. Then you’re building a subset of that.

The effect of this from a strategic standpoint is that it allows us to build really fantastic solutions. Then as we expand out to other types of ecommerce or down market, we have an order of magnitude better solution. We can also sell to the best companies and start our network in that way. That's another part of it: for marketplaces, it's very much a winner-take-all network effect type of business, even though you may have different winners in different verticals. One of the things that we've seen is that, to make this business work, you need to be able to sell into the winners and not just into the long tail because it's just not evenly balanced.

Find this answer in Andrew Yates, CEO of, on driving marketplace ARPU with personalization
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