This 21-year-old has expanded this Hull tech firm across Europe in just over a year

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 14 Dec 2017

A 21-year-old former Kelvin Hall school student is gaining acclaim for leading one of the region’s fasting growing technology businesses, which has recently developed teams in Paris, Amsterdam and Germany.

Smart advertising company Ash TV, run by Ash Lewis, has now struck a major advert placement deal with leading publisher Immediate Media.

The publisher, whose portfolio includes huge magazine titles including BBC Top Gear, BBC Match of the Day and Radio Times, is the latest to work with the Hull-based firm.

The contract is one of a number which has propelled rapid growth for the mobile advertising specialists, based in Hull’s C4DI .

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The company, which only started last year has already outgrown Hull city centre offices bought this summer, and seen an expansion which has led to opening offices in Amsterdam and London and development teams in Paris and Norden in Germany.

Mr Lewis said: “We run ads, targeted for mobile, on about 1,500 web sites. We work with advertisers and publishes so that their products can reach customers on mobiles.

“I think the growth in video consumption, by people on their phones, has been obvious so that was something we wanted to tap into and a lot of brands have been interested in developing online this way.

“It’s been a big year since we started. We opened the offices here earlier in the year and now this is one of four countries where we have bases.

“Headquarters is in Hull, because simply that’s where I’m from, and now we are in Alkmaar, just outside of Amsterdam, Paris and Norden in Germany.

Ash TV provides an auto-playing video advertising platform for mobile, where advertisers can target audiences by selecting their age, gender, location, interests and occupation.

“This growth wasn’t down a specific strategy,” the young entrepreneur said. “Decisions we’ve made tend to just be pragmatic, reacting to issues we have. The reason we have an office Amsterdam is because we had a customer there and the same in Paris.

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“The fact is 18 to 30 year olds are not watching TV like they used to. The way they are consuming adverts is changing and advertisers are having to adapt, and we think we have benefitted by staying at the front of this development.

Ash Lewis from AshTV

“Every month we are having to tell customers that our products are changing because the landscape, the way people are consuming things through technology, is rapidly changing.

“Do we have any serious competitors in mobile video? I would probably say no.”

Ash TV’s technology is supported by artificial intelligence (AI) software to target adverts using location and social media data. It provides real-time feedback to clients on the effectiveness and targeting of their advertising campaigns.

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Mr Lewis says he has been gaining experience across a range of areas despite his age, and says he wants to see other young people in Hull becoming successful in technology industries.

He said: “I started off as a developer, mainly working at the NHS on healthcare databases from when I was about 15.

“We have two 15 year olds who work with us. I’ve gone into classes and found people who have the talent and eagerness to work as developers, programmers. They come in completely fresh and with no preconceptions.

“One person was working with us for eight months before they realised how we made money. They were just doing it for the enjoyment, and they were talented, so I don’t see why age should come into it.”

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