A conversation with Matthias Lesch, founder of TAB, which was just acquired by PIA Group

Venista Ventures is delighted to announce the successful exit of one of its portfolio companies: Berlin-based adtech company TAB has been acquired by PIA Perfomance Interactive Alliance. We talked to Matthias Lesch, founder of TAB, about his journey and his advice to founders.

Matthias, first of all congratulations! How would you describe your feelings?
Matthias Lesch: Excited, proud and tired! Excited for the great things to come since we have big plans for the next 24 months. Proud of what we have achieved and all the hard work the team has put in to make TAB what it is today. And just a little tired since handling a due diligence process besides the daily operations can be quite intense for a startup.

When you started TAB back in 2016, what was your motivation and vision?
Matthias Lesch: Having built ad-tech companies in an incubator-like structure for more than 7 years, I wanted to see if I can do this on my own. At that time, back in 2016, the market was changing rapidly, and mobile user acquisition was growing by double digits month by month. My vision for TAB was to become one of the strongest and most reliable agencies specialized within that niche.

Now that TAB has been sold to PIA, what is the future of the company?
Matthias Lesch: The acquisition is not finishing TAB’s story. I see it as the beginning of a bigger, stronger and more established growth mission. Together with PIA we will build and scale the so-called Performance Mobile Group (PMG), building a global leader in the user acquisition and mobile marketing space. I am happy that, on this journey, we have the strong partner PIA who will help us to achieve this mission. PIA as a true leader in data driven marketing brings in a reputable network of over 700 experts. That’s the global power that will help us offer the most fitting digital services at the highest level to both our existing and new customers.

Working with Venista Ventures from day 1, how would you describe the collaboration and what would you tell other founders who think about pitching for an investment?
Matthias Lesch: I didn’t really know what was waiting for me when I visited them in Cologne back in December 2015. But as soon as I talked to Christian and Olli from Venista Ventures, the ice was broken and they were all in for the idea. You basically almost could say, that we made a deal on a “napkin“ at Vapiano. Since Venista got in, you guys were helpful in areas where we needed help. Apart from that, you let us run independently without getting involved too much. So if there is somebody out there thinking of pitching for an investment, go ahead and do it! There are not that many investors putting this high amount of trust in what you do.

One last question: What one piece of advice would you give someone starting a business?
Matthias Lesch: Don’t over-process, over-engineer your startup idea. We started almost entirely with a 3rd party infrastructure to ramp up our daily operations, built out the services we offer, set up processes, etc. A little later on our journey we began to develop our own tools to increase effectiveness and automate processes. Doing so enabled us to start business right away and immediately brought in revenues from day one.