The transition to mobile has created many opportunities for entrepreneurs and startups across a wide variety of fields. One of such fields is publishing and media publications, who have to properly adapt to the limitations of the medium to increase readership and user engagement. In this particular sector, Marfeel is one of the leaders.
The Barcelona-based startup co-founded by Xavi Beumala and Juan Margenat (who previously founded Smartbox & Bongo and PlanB!) provides an ad-hoc rendering service that adapts desktop versions of websites to mobile. Although the company started off as a pure SaaS product, it recently changed its business model to focus on advertising, offering publishers the option of integrating their content with Marfeel’s premium advertising program.
Since making those changes Marfeel has gone from managing readerships of 40 million to 500 million, and from 300 million page views to over 2 billion; the company confirmed to Novobrief. The company also claims that with Marfeelized websites, page views, reading time and social shares increase on average by 6X, 5X and 4X, respectively.
On top of that, the startup has been chosen by Google as a recommended vendor for optimizing websites “for seamless functionality across all devices”. This is the first time a Spanish startup is certified by Google for its mobile design solution.
The announcement takes place at an interesting time, as Google has been paying more attention to mobile-friendly websites as of recent, to the point that this is now taken into account in the ranking of search results.
Juan Margenat tells Novobrief that “this partnership will give us a lot of credibility when it comes to international clients”, which so far include publications such as National Geographic, VozPopuli or El Confidencial. (Full disclosure: Novobrief’s mobile version is run by Marfeel).
The startup -which currently has 22 employees- went through SeedRocket and Wayra and in 2013 it raised a €1.6 million Series A round from BDMI, Nauta Capital and Elaia Partners. Both co-founders claim that they have yet to use that money, which indicates that Marfeel business is running strong. The Google partnership might push it even further.
Photo | Relexa Hotels