Q&A With CrakRevenue's COO, Axel Vézina
The big idea behind CrakRevenue was born not by accident but by need of an internal stats and revenue tracking program, according to Axel Vézina, COO of the company, a pioneer in the CPA space.
“We started out as affiliates and built all our programs for affiliates,” Vézina says. “That’s the very foundation of CrakRevenue — we’re first and foremost client-oriented people.”
Vézina in late January spoke with XBIZ World in this Presidential Suite Q&A interview about the organic rise of CrakRevenue and how after nearly a dozen years in the business the Canadian company has grown to more than 100 employees and is responsible for generating more than 50 billion monthly impressions.
XBIZ: CrakRevenue has been a pioneer in the CPA space. How did you get your start and what led you to join the company?
Vézina: I first started as an entrepreneur myself about 20 years ago, starting my own club in downtown Québec City. That is where I met Nick, founder of CrakRevenue and one of my closest friends for over a decade. I actually hired him to build the website for my club and we quickly became friends. From the get-go, he was full of ideas and eager to help me generate traffic.
Later on, he started a tube website with his roommates, which quickly went viral. That’s when he started to monetize his traffic and began building a stats platform that would later become CrakRevenue. By then, I was working as an agent for a successful music group. As luck would have it, a world-renowned music festival heard about me and what I was doing at the time and they offered me a dream job — traveling around the world to hire new bands and talent.
Unfortunately for them, they were way less convincing than Nick, who offered me the chance to start a company with him; a company that would make his platform and tools readily available to a bunch of web marketers in the adult industry.
He had just opened an office, which had on a few employees and he offered me a test job to see if I liked the industry.
The numbers were not impressive — but I did have his word. He told me that he was going to revolutionize the marketing world as we knew it. And you know what? I believed him.
And here we are today, with more than 100 employees and generating 50 billion monthly impressions. You can imagine how I feel!
XBIZ: What does CrakRevenue offer to today’s affiliate?
Vézina: Exclusive offers and partnerships, custom sales pages and award-winning ad tools, just to name a few. We literally have hundreds of offers our affiliates can promote. Today’s affiliate can promote dozens of offers at our network for instance and receive their payment as an all-in-one check. Believe it or not, that was another reason for the creation of our platform — we were receiving too many checks from too many different companies!
XBIZ: What sets CrakRevenue apart from all the other CPA players?
Vézina: We started out as affiliates and built all our programs for affiliates. That’s the very foundation of CrakRevenue — we’re first and foremost client-oriented people. And that is also why we’re so serious about sharing our knowledge and expertise with our affiliates on our blog and through our awesome affiliate advisory team!
Our experience as affiliates ourselves has been invaluable. We know the business, and we continue to use our knowledge and expertise to make other affiliates money.
And that could also explain why our platform won its first title of Best Affiliate Program while it was still in beta stage.
I believe that’s what is setting us apart from other CPA networks.
XBIZ: How has the CPA space evolved since the birth of CrakRevenue?
Vézina: We’re seeing more of an industry shift to CPA networks now — at least in the adult space. Speaking of which, more and more CPA networks are popping up each new year, (who knows, we might have even inspired a couple of them!). The thing is, many of them disappear before you know it. With the multiplication of CPA networks comes the multiplication of offers; all signs point to this being one of the main reasons some are unable to stand out from the crowd.
For the ones that remain in the game, we’re witnessing a huge tendency to optimize instead of just adding new offers.
XBIZ: From your view, what is driving the adult entertainment market?
Vézina: At the end of the day, people want an awesome experience and a quality product. This was true when we started, and it remains true to this day.
Whether it’s paysites, cams or dating — you need to target quality over quantity. Otherwise, with the increasing number of new adult sites popping up every day, yours won’t stand a chance if there’s not some real value there in the service or something special about it. This is the key to success and the only surefire way to have a one-up on the competition. That’s what we believe at CrakRevenue.
XBIZ: What’s in store for CrakRevenue in 2016?
Vézina: We hope to continue to conquer all markets, including the ever-important mobile market. We want to branch out and offer more mainstream verticals, while maintaining our top position in what we know and do best — the adult market.
To help get us there, we’ve invested a lot in R&D. We’re constantly investing in our platform to make it even better. We’re welcoming more and more affiliates in our network by the day.
We’re anticipating many new features, products and rollouts in 2016. Stay tuned! There’s a lot to be excited about it!
XBIZ: In your time away from work, what do you like to do?
Vézina: Long walks on the beach at sunset ... just kidding. Though that does sound pretty great!
Actually, I love sports and, as a proud Canadian, hockey’s a favorite of mine.
My other interests include music, concerts, gaming and globetrotting. And of course, good food, and good wine with friends!