Andre Parreira of InsurAds
The blog

André Parreira left school during his final year dreaming of doing big things online, starting his first business from a small room (“we did not even have a garage!”, in a small city in Portugal. Fast forward and today, he is the Co-founder and CEO of InsurAds, a global digital advertising platform monetising the “attention time” of users, connecting more than 1.9 billion of them per month, serving over 4 billion daily ad impressions.

Andre and his team will be at Media Makers Meet (Mx3 Berlin) next week, 19 & 20 October, to discuss how specialist media can take advantage of monetising the close relationships they develop with audiences around particular topics of interest.

There are a handful of tickets left for Mx3 Berlin. Sales will close either when the last one is sold or at 10 am CET on Wednesday, 12 October, whichever comes first. Visit for more on the event. Sign up here.

Below we asked Andre to tell us more about himself, his career and what he sees as challenges and opportunities for specialist media.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m 42. I was born in Aveiro, a small coastal town in Portugal near Porto. I’ve been married for 21 years and counting, and I am a father of three, the oldest of who is 20 and the youngest 6. I’m curious; I’m stubborn; I’m a high school dropout; I’m an entrepreneur and a self-taught learner. I’m passionate about innovation and technology. The Internet is where I built my career (my wife says I live here, too!). I love challenging the status quo, and I believe that defining something as “Impossible” is just the first step to making it “Possible!”. Digital Advertising and Attention Monetization are my mojos. 

Tell us about your career.

I usually say I’m crazy and lucky enough to still be in my first job, the one I created for myself. My generation was fortunate to witness and be part of the computer revolution that started in the 80s, from getting access to the Internet in its early commercial days that triggered all the rest. 

All of this made me get out of High School in 12th grade and start my Internet company in the good old days of 1996 in my mother’s 100-square-foot direct-sale clothing “deposit” room. Yes, a deposit room; our apartment didn’t have a garage! So, that’s where Portugal’s first Internet development services company was born! 

We have created awesome software that changed operations for thousands of companies in Portugal, from content management, e-commerce platforms, workflow suites, Intranet, e-businesses, etc. I was lucky to be part of my country’s best and boldest projects, while I learned so much from consulting and building for so many different industries. 

In the 2000s, business was growing strong, and by 2010 I was getting anxious to go international. However, I needed a never-seen-before technology with the potential to move the Internet to a new chapter. So I created the World’s first real-time communication platform for the Internet on top of HTML5. It’s the beautiful WebSockets API, creating a live web! 

This project was important because while I have never sold an ad impression in my life, I saw the opportunity for technology to monetise “time and attention” to change digital advertising for the better, once and for all.

I dreamt of a bright future for digital advertising where we have a unified live audience, track their attention time per millisecond and push ads directly from our Cloud to people’s devices. That set the stage for us to go global. 

I was fortunate to work with the brightest and best engineers to turn my “impossible dream” into a “possible reality”.

Tell us about your current role.

I’m the Co-founder and CEO of InsurAds. With InsurAds, we created the World’s first Time-and-Attention Management platform for publishers and advertisers. I’m lucky to be a trailblazer in the Attention Economy by:

  • Connecting more than 1.9 billion Monthly Active Users; with 
  • Over 4 billion Daily Ad Impressions; and 
  • Managing over 120 Billion Minutes of Attention Time annually for our clients.

What are the main challenges for specialist media?

Becoming a Walled Garden! The biggest challenge I see is that these specialists are fighting with and going up against the Big Walled Gardens by closing access to their products. I am worried that this may become a substantial self-inflicted wound because consumers can afford only so many subscriptions. When hard paywalls go up, people have to choose … and that may drive them directly to Big Walled Gardens, where they can find the same or similar content.

What are the main opportunities for specialist media?

The most significant opportunity, as is usual, goes hand-in-hand with the biggest challenge. We must understand that “Audience Attention Time” is the most critical metric to measure, control and monetise. Specialist media are well positioned to monetise Attention Time — at a premium — thanks to the close and exclusive relationships they forge with users around particular topics. More than ever, we can now say, “Time is Money!”. Specialist media should not lose even a second of the monetisation opportunity because of a single-minded drive towards all-in subscriptions or bust.

There are a handful of tickets left for Mx3 Berlin. Sales will close either when the last one is sold or at 10 am CET on Wednesday, 12 October, whichever comes first. Visit for more, and sign up here.