Latin Interactive World: Gigigo Group – Interview with Javier Diaz, Managing Partner

Gigigo Group is a Spanish holding company that offers mobile products and services, with offices in Spain as well as Korea and the Philippines to serve the Asian market.  The company has recently expanded its operations to Latin America and opened a new office in Mexico.

Portada talked with Javier Diaz, Managing Partner of Gigigo Group, about the company’s operations, its expansion plans in the region, and specific projects it has developed for Nokia and Grupo Imagen in Mexico, as well as their work on iPhone and Editorial Televisa applications in the same country.

The company’s holdings include Gigigo Mobile Services, Adtriple (ad network), Yubigames (mobile gaming), and Incubator (industrial partner).

Company services include: development of B2B and B2B2C mobile applications, content production for mobiles, platforms for promotions via mobile messaging, mobile advertising networks, and social games for mobiles.

At a Glance 

Name:   Gigigo Group

Business:   Spanish holding company specialized in mobile services.

Offices:   Spain, Korea, Philippines, México.

Employees:   Approximately 60

Markets of operation:   Spanish, Portuguese, Latin America and Asia.

Top clients: Nokia, Grupo Imagen, Editorial Televisa, Repsol, Tommy Hilfiger, El Corte Ingles, Coca-Cola, ZARA, Volkswagen, El País, Orbyt, Loterías y Apuestas del Estado, and Edreams, among others.

LatAm expansion

Gigigo recently began its expansion in Latin America through the opening of its Mexico office and its projects for Grupo Imagen and Editorial Televisa.  "Our office in Mexico will be the hub of our international development strategy for other countries in the region," said Javier Diaz, Gigigo Managing Partner.  Diaz added that Brazil and Venezuela are being eyed as the next markets in the company’s expansion.

"We have identified several markets where consumption rates are much higher than average and could become part of our expansion strategy in the near future.  This is the case with Brazil, for example, although we are already working on a couple of projects in Venezuela."

"Latin America is a market with enormous growth potential and also with a very different socioeconomic situation," says Javier Diaz.

For Diaz, Brazil’s mobile phone market makes it one of the most interesting countries in the region.  The executive points out that market penetration is high and smartphones and tablets have registered significant growth in recent years.  High growth rates are also expected in Brazil in the coming years, he said.

With regard to the company’s expansion strategy, Diaz says that "we plan to develop our expansion strategy based on the degree of maturity of each market, independently evaluating each one and the return we could get from each, given that the effort to establish a presence in one country or another is practically the same."

Mexico: Editorial Televisa and Grupo Imagen

For Grupo Imagen, Gigigo developed the Excelsior application for iPhone, iPad, and Android.  In its first week after launching, it placed first in the iTunes News category and held on to top positions in that category for 5 weeks.  Gigigo also launched the ActitudFEM application for iPhone and iPad.  Both applications use Gigigo’s mobile advertising server, which can provide any type of format for ad campaigns ? from simple or interstitial banners, to video banners and rich media.

Diaz added that "in the two months since launching, we have received over 1000 user application reviews, who’ve given it an average of 4.5 stars out of 5, which is an excellent result."

For Editorial Televisa, the company has developed Esquire, TU and TVyNovelas applications for Window Phone smartphones and for three Nokia technologies: QT for s60 and Meego.  It has also created the 1.1 iPhone versions for group magazines Cosmopolitan, TU, Vanidades, Caras, and Men's Health.

Gigigo also has an agreement with Televisa for the use of its ad server, which will be integrated into all of its magazines’ Blackberry applications.

"In general and without going into numbers, user acceptance of applications developed for both groups has been very positive," Diaz summed up.

Mobiles: What’s next for the region?

According to Diaz, the areas that will see future development in the Latin American mobile phone market will be advertising and application development.  "The increasing number of handsets, flat rates for data plans and economic growth in the region are clear indicators of mobile marketing development trends in the near future," he said.

Social gaming on mobile phones: A booming sector

In light of new n smartphone technology and the number of social games currently being downloaded from app stores, Diaz believes that the market for mobile social games will continue to grow strongly in the region.  He notes that "although there is a lot of competition in this market segment, it is so large that we still find it very interesting to maintain a presence in this area."  Last year, Gigigo launched its Kinito Boo and Angry Ninja games, and expects to launch four more games this year.

U.S. Hispanic Market

Diaz did not confirm whether the U.S. Hispanic market it is part of the company’s expansion plans, but thinks that "it is a population group that is growing. According to a recent eMarketeer study, more than 63% of that market has mobile Internet access.  The most important thing about this market segment is not only its growth in penetration rates, but also its considerable increase in usage time.  Given these factors, the U.S. market is where the mobile advertising market is developing the most and shows the greatest potential for mobile ad spending growth in the coming years."