Twitter's Asia-Pacific boss just defected to mobile ad startup Unlockd

Unlockd’s Aliza Knox. (Source: supplied)

Twitter’s first-ever employee in Asia has left the social media giant after 4.5 years to take up a position at mobile advertising platform Unlockd.

Aliza Knox, from California, came to Singapore in November to launch and run Twitter’s operations for the entire region. She left the role of Asia-Pacific vice president at the end of March and was announced today as the chief operating officer for Unlockd.

Unlockd co-founder and chief Matt Berriman said she would have a similar remit at his company, which is looking to expand into new geographical markets.

“The team and I are excited about her joining as we expand our business into other verticals like content streaming and geographies including Asia.”

Knox also boasts past roles with Google Asia-Pacific, Boston Consulting and Visa in her resume. She’s currently on the board of Westfield owner Scentre Group and Singapore Post, as well as serving as an advisor on the ANZ Bank’s technology committee.

Unlockd raised $15 million in a series A round early last year, then went to the market in October seeking another $30 million to fuel its growth plans.

Berriman said at the time that “emerging markets” are a focus for the company and that it had several new market launches planned for 2017.

“We have had a lot of commercial interest from other telcos around the world wanting to launch our offering to their consumers, so we are looking to further invest in our platform,” he said in October.

The platform works by giving mobile users credit in return for viewing ads on lockscreens. The credit can come in the form of discounts, mobile data or subsidy on a phone bill. Last year the concept launched in the US with Boost Mobile, UK with Tesco Mobile and in the Caribbean with Digicel.

Unlockd also unveiled a partnership with MTV this year to launch Unlockd Stream, which is described as “the first and only model that rewards with an uninterrupted listening and viewing experience” by using premium entertainment as “digital currency”.

“[Knox’s] wealth of experience and strong relationships will be an enormous asset as we accelerate growth towards our 2025 mission to give back $500m in Unlockd value to our consumers,” said Berriman today.

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