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Antavo adds former Yahoo executive Ben Pickering as an advisor

Hungarian startup Antavo announced the appointment of Ben Pickering as an advisor to the company. The addition of the former CEO of a major social media marketing company is seen as a stepping-stone for the company’s expansion into the North American market.

Antavo is a turnkey marketing tool that empowers small businesses, marketing professionals and agencies to launch online promotion apps. Antavo launched in private beta back in September 2011 and managed to secure some early-stage funding through Seedcamp in 2012. Antavo doubled its team, expanded internationally, and increased its revenue significantly in the last 12 months.

Antavo’s principle customer base stems from outside of North America, and the addition of the ex-CEO of a major social media marketing company serving many leading North American clients is seen as a stepping-stone for the company’s expansion into the market. In addition to English-speaking markets, Antavo also boasts many customers from the Spanish-speaking world, and currently has country managers operating in South America, Central Europe and South-East Asia.

“I am very glad that Ben Pickering has agreed to join Antavo’s team. He has strong industry experience, and with this help we hope to expand further.” noted Attila Kecsmar, Antavo’s CEO.

Mr. Pickering has 15 years of executive experience in the online media and software industries, working with both Fortune 500 companies and startups. In his former position, as CEO of Strutta, Mr. Pickering established the company as an early Facebook Preferred Developer working with brands such as Disney, Land Rover and Crate & Barrel to implement social media campaigns. He also developed the company’s strategic partnership with ExactTarget, a leading global provider of email and cross-channel marketing solutions. Prior to Strutta, Ben held a variety of strategic roles in Yahoo!’s audience division and advertising marketplaces group.

Antavo is a self-service contest and activation suite that helps small businesses and marketing agencies to grow and engage with customers. Their current platform, released in December 2013, has 4 pillars: a Facebook ad-kit, a contest builder, customer profiling, and email personalization. In terms of costs, Antavo's subscription packages start at $25 per month, with unlimited campaigns and subscribers. And though the campaigns are Antavo-branded, a white-label version is also available from for $125 per month companies to fully customize.

Antavo began in 2011 and received funding from Seedcamp in 2012. Among the 14.000 businesses currently using their tool are market leaders such as METRO, Samsung, Frey Wille, LUX, WICK, Vogue and Spar.