Exec Seat: Q&A With Gian Carlo Scalisi
This year has been quite an exciting one for Gian Carlo Scalisi, who has quickly molded BitterStrawberry.com into a mobile traffic network that aims to maximize profitability for clients.
Scalisi, who started up the company with Carmen Lumina, is sales director of the company. Lumina is the affiliate and marketing director.
XBIZ World had a chance to ask Scalisi a few questions late last month about his rise in the adult industry and BitterStrawberry’s traffic network, which he calls “revolutionary.”
XBIZ: How did you venture into the industry?
SCALISI: I have been in the adult industry since 2001. I started as a DVD distributor in Switzerland and moved over to international distribution and production for main brand/players worldwide. In 2008 I founded Playvision Media Group, a company specialized in shooting and producing customized high-end content for TV/broadcasting. At the same time, together with my partner, we entered the online industry with a very successful European online project. In 2010 I went to the next step and started to build a mobile affiliate program. But in beginning of this year I could see where the trend is going, and I decided to put together BitterStrawberry.com since this was that something the industry was looking for. And the market is agreeing with us. Since June we have reached a new record: 700,000 leads generated over our platform and more then 260 million clicks processed. So it appears our partners are in the right place at the right time! We are present not only in adult but also in mainstream market; stay tuned and we will keep you posted about our future collaborations at the shows in September.
XBIZ: What exactly does BitterStrawberry do with mobile traffic to make clients money?
SCALISI: BitterStrawberry is focused on maximizing the mobile traffic efficiency. We are a performance network, not a broker. We don’t just redirect traffic! Behind BitterStrawberry there is a revolutionary filtering, analyzing, pre-sorting and redirecting system that detects the country, device, operator/IP range and connection. Based on that, we send the mobile traffic to the best converting offerings for each specific target. Because of our unique system, we are able to push the user to the offer where they will convert best — where the portal is optimized for that device, where the content fits the type of available connection and where the genre and language are matching the needs of the user. All in order to deliver the higher conversion rates and payouts our partners are accustomed with.
XBIZ: Where is most of your business coming from?
SCALISI: Affiliates, media buying and, of course, our own traffic. We are pleasantly surprised by the number of big, medium and small affiliates joining our platform every day … it is a lot of fun.
XBIZ: Are there any countries/regions that you don’t currently service but would like to in the near future?
SCALISI: We are covering for the moment more than 80 countries worldwide and now are all focusing on connecting and optimizing the remaining countries to our system. We are working hard on one main continent, which I hope will go live soon.
Which one? I would like to keep it secret until it goes live. We were lucky to close a great partnership with one of the main players in the market, which also represents mainstream brands like EA and Gameloft …. So dear friends, help us help you by joining BitterStrawberry and allowing us to bring you amazing results for the same amount of traffic.
XBIZ: What sector of the online adult business is driving the market these days?
SCALISI: Dating. This is one of the reasons we are working hard to get this live, and I hope we will be able to get a big share of this amazing growing market.
XBIZ: What’s a typical work day like?
SCALISI: This is a million-dollar question .… Honestly none of the days resemble each other. But lets say that I wake up in the morning, turn my computer on, focus on emails for three to four hours. At lunchtime I escape for a bit — hard training for one to two hour (that’s how I keep in good shape my Vin Diesel looks). Later I talk to my partners and business friends have some drinks with friends and go back to the computer in order to be able to talk to West Coast guys, since they wake up later.
I feel very lucky to be able to do what I like. My working days can be longer than 15 hours a day sometimes, but it is fun and I enjoy every moment of it — especially when I see the numbers grow every day. And it’s not because of the money, it is because it gives me a feeling that we made it, that we have a successful project running despite of all the obstacles.
XBIZ: When not thinking about the industry, what do you like to do?
SCALISI: It is hard not to think about the business, but every time I get the chance and have some spare time, I go partying in Romania. They have some of the best clubs and parties. Or I relax by meeting friends or traveling around with my girlfriend. or riding on my vintage Vespa from 1961.