Onswipe’s Jason Baptiste on Ramping Up & Reinventing Tech for Touchscreens

10/18/12Follow @gthuang

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30 employees, almost all in New York. Its key recent hires include Richard Bloom as chief operating officer (previously with 5min Media and AOL) and Jared Hand as chief revenue officer (previously at Jumptap). The startup says it has seen an eight-fold increase in its audience size (unique visits) since April. By the end of this year, Baptiste says, Onswipe will have just shy of 50 employees, and it already has some 1,300 publishers on its platform. [An earlier version said Onswipe has just shy of 50 publishers on its platform. This has been corrected---Eds.]

And what’s on tap for next year? “Ramping up for very large revenue,” says Baptiste. That money presumably will come from brands and advertisers. “Somebody is going to own advertising on all the touchscreen devices,” he says. “And publishers are more receptive than ever.”

But making lots of money will depend on Onswipe’s ability to build out both its content platform and its advertising technology in a smart way. It’s a bit like a company trying to build both a Tumblr or WordPress and an AdMob or Jumptap, at the same time. Baptiste and company have their work cut out for them—but they certainly don’t lack for ambition or confidence.

Baptiste has talked with me previously about Onswipe being an “experience” company. Meaning the startup wants to own the way consumers experience the Web on post-PC devices, via its visual design and interface technology, as well as through its relationships with publishers and advertisers—thereby driving more traffic to websites.

“Apple is experience through hardware. Square is experience through payment. Onswipe is experience through the Web,” he says. “The best companies out there take a full-stack approach. They build the ecosystem.”

Indeed, Baptiste is thinking bigger than all of this. “Everything’s being reinvented for touch. Anything that’s been created over the past 10 years can be reinvented for touch,” he says.

Think about what’s happening in e-commerce, marketing, and enterprise software. So, will there be a whole new generation of business software companies created around touch interfaces? “It’s like when Gates, Jobs, and Woz started,” he says. “It’s a fresh new page.”

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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