Irish founder of Sydney-based adtech eyes Europe with new Dublin office

8 Oct 2021

Publift CEO Colm Dolan. Image: Publift

Galway-born CEO of Publift, Colm Dolan, said he sees the new Dublin team as a return to his Irish roots.

Sydney-based adtech start-up Publift is expanding its presence in Europe with a new team and office in Dublin.

Founded in 2015 by Irish entrepreneur and CEO Colm Dolan, Publift helps publishers monetise their business with its programmatic advertising platform. Its used by more than 400 websites across 50 countries.

Future Human

Publift made its first hire in Europe when it appointed Wicklow native Roddy O’Caoimh as its European lead in April. O’Caoimh now oversees operations from the company’s new Dublin office in Fitzwilliam Lane, but before that he was a publisher development manager based in Publift’s Sydney office, where he worked for over a year.

“We’ve had our eye on these regions for quite some time and the rapid growth we’re experiencing is down to our relentless focus on driving results for our publishers in Europe and the USA,” O’Caoimh said.

Publift employs 25 people across its Sydney and Melbourne offices, and five support team members in Manila, the Philippines. Apart from its new Dublin office, Publift has another foreign office in San Francisco where it recently hired its first account manager for the region.

“As our client base expands, it is important to provide around-the-clock service in each geographical region,” said Dolan. “And where better than back to the country that gave me so much.”

Dolan’s background includes a number of years working on the AdWords and AdSense teams at Google, honing his knowledge of the digital advertising landscape.

“Our technology is highly scalable,” he said of Publift, “but good customer service in each region is a big part of our expansion plans. We’ve seen first-hand how this support can really transform the lives of publishers and we look forward to doing more of the same in Europe.”

Coming home

Born in Portumna, Co Galway, Dolan said his decision to expand in Europe through Dublin was symbolic of him coming home.

After completing a degree in IT and telecommunications from the University of Limerick, he moved to Dublin to get a master’s degree in management from UCD’s Smurfit Business School.

After working at Google for five years, he briefly moved to California before settling down in Sydney and founding Publift.

“My entrepreneurial adventure is inspired by my parents, who ran a bed and breakfast in Portumna,” he told Siliconrepublic.com. “All my family are still in Galway and I visit every year.”

Dolan said that some of Publift’s biggest clients include Australian weather site Weatherzone and UK-based hobbies website Wordsolver. “Our clients are quite spread out as we cater for the small to medium-sized publisher,” he said.

Publift said that its ad technology has delivered an average revenue increase of 55pc and is already used by nearly 30 publishers in Europe. It hopes that a new European team based in Dublin will help the start-up find more customers in the continent.

Dolan co-founded Publift with his former Google colleague Tobin Page, who is now the COO of the company.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com