Israeli web giant ironSource opens China office

With the move, the Israeli company sees a major rise in the 100 million-plus monthly users of its download system

The ironSource team at its Tel Aviv headquarters (Courtesy)
The ironSource team at its Tel Aviv headquarters (Courtesy)

IronSource, one of Israel’s most successful web companies, announced this week that it is expanding to China. Over 100 million people a month use ironSource’s tech services, according to the company. That number is set to expand significantly as ironSource deploys its digital delivery technology in the world’s largest market.

The Beijing office, said ironSource, will be staffed by a combination of Israeli and Chinese employees. The company intends to bring its top-tier technology to China, and to localize its services and products to meet local needs, ironSource said.

In recent weeks, hundreds of Chinese business and government officials have visited Israel, exploring the Start-Up Nation. Many of them expressed admiration for the creativity, ingenuity and entrepreneurial drive and spirit displayed by Israeli start-ups. As such, they should be impressed with ironSource. Barely three years old, the privately-held company is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, with revenues to be as much as $200 million per year, analysts say. The company partners with many prominent tech and web firms, such as Microsoft, Google and Yandex, the Russian search engine giant.

IronSource’s most important brand, InstallCore, is a platform used by companies large and small to deliver software downloads to PC and mobile users, and is “an end-to-end platform solution for software installation delivery and monetization,” said Arnon Harish, general manager of InstallCore, in a recent interview with Times of Israel. Thanks to InstallCore, ironSource’s growth has been phenomenal. In January 2012, 40 people worked at the firm. That number stands at about 300, mostly at the company’s Tel Aviv R&D center, with a satellite staff at the company’s Silicon Valley sales office. That growth has mostly been organic, with more engineers hired to work on InstallCore, but ironSource has also acquired several Israeli start-ups over the past two years, Harish said.

Over the past year, ironSource has placed “a special emphasis on broadening its global footprint and strengthening ties with the Chinese market,” said Yuval Reisman, ironSource’s general manager for its China operations. In China for barely a year, the company has already partnered with several large Chinese web companies, including Internet giant Baidu, and is helping their Chinese partners distribute 100,000 apps, games and software products daily. With the opening of the Beijing office, said Reisman, that number is likely to grow substantially.

“The last few years have seen an explosion in the Chinese Internet space, along with an increase in the desire of Chinese companies to tap into wider global markets,” said Reisman. “In the same way that ironSource helps developers in the rest of the world turn their software into scalable businesses, we will now serve as the channel for Chinese developers to tap into the global market and grow into international businesses.”

The new office comes on the heels of a visit of 25 Chinese delegates to Israel organized by ironSource, which included angel investors, company founders and serial entrepreneurs. The delegation was led by Chinese media personality Niu Wenwen of website The Founder, along with top Chinese angel investor Xu Xiaoping, a major advocate of building business ties between China and the West.

“IronSource is recognized as an industry leader across the world, and we are actively looking to expand our footprint in China,” said Tomer Bar Zeev, CEO of ironSource. “It’s crucial to make sure that our increased presence in Asia is matched by a focus on localization, and collaborating with visionaries like Xu Xiaoping helps us to do this, allowing us to foster personal relationships and more effectively address the needs of the Chinese market,” he said.

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