Exclusive: eToro Head of PR Nadav Avidan quits firm for senior position at Viber

After three years as Head of Communications and PR, Nadav Avidan has been appointed Global Head of PR at Viber.

After just over three years as Head of Communications, PR and Marketing at social investment platform eToro, Nadav Avidan has left the company to join instant messaging and voice-over-ip (VOIP) application developer Viber as Global PR Lead.

Owned by Japanese conglomerate Rakuten, Viber is one of the modern success stories of the smartphone era, having been founded in 2010 in Israel by Israeli and Belorussian partners Talmon Marco, Igor Magazinnik along with Sani Maroli and Ofer Samocha.

Nadav Avidan, Global Head of PR, Viber

The company is registered in Cyprus but has its development centers in Belarus and Israel, and is now experiencing a rapid growth period. In its first two years of availability, Viber did not generate revenues, however by 2013 it began to become profitable via user payments for Viber Out voice calling and the Viber graphical messaging “sticker store”.

The company was originally funded by individual investors, described by Mr Marco as “friends and family”. They invested $20 million in the company, which had 120 employees as of May 2013 and just one year later accelerated in value and was acquired by Rakuten for $900 million, with analysts at the time having considered that a good PR exercised helped Viber go the distance in such a short time.

A PR exercise that Nadav Avidan is now picking up the baton to continue after leaving eToro.

At eToro, Mr. Avidan was responsible fo product marketing, the creation of the company’s brand book and continual work with design studios to create what he considered to be a ‘new visual language.’

Mr. Avidan wrote the “tone of voice” playbook and its several variations which included Service, Product, Marketing, Sales and Localization and lead many campaigns in various countries including TV advertising, online advertisement and even outdoor fixed advertising campaigns.

Whilst at eToro, Mr. Avidan experienced not only substantial corporate growth within the firm which led to two investments.

These investments consisted of two entities, one being Russia’s Sberbank, and the other, Chinese technology venture capital investment firm Ping An Ventures.

FinanceFeeds met Lance Liu of Ping An ventures in Shanghai recently, to discuss the interest in eToro from a venture capital investment perspective whilst at the time the Chinese interest in the firm led to speculation that eToro had its eyes on entering mainland China.

FinanceFeeds CEO Andrew Saks-McLeod talks to Ping An Ventures about investment in eToro, Shanghai, China

FinanceFeeds asked Mr. Liu what the rationale was for such an investment on eToro, to which he replied “Our core business is investment in financial services firms, and there are many good business models overseas with good technology which China does not yet have. We have a large market to serve so we have a remit to invest in new technology and foreign business model and bring it into China.”

“eToro’s collaboration with us is on two fronts” said Mr. Liu. “One is a cooperation on the social investment side, whilst we also invested in the fintech side of their business.”

eToro created a wholly owned foreign enterprise (WOFE) which is in the process of registration and is a fully owned subsidiary under eToro. The market here in China is less strict than it was before, and it is less hard to open in China as it had been previously, as long as there is government oversight and input.” – Lance Liu, Head of Investment, Ping An Ventures.

Certainly an interesting time for Mr. Avidan to have led the firm’s public and corporate image, and a tenure that has stood him in good stead as he takes on his senior executive position at Viber, having joined eToro from Stern Arieli PR where he was a PR Consultant with clients such as eBay and PayPal, rising to elevated levels after his three years at eToro.

Main image courtesy of VentureBeat.com, all other images copyright FinanceFeeds

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