Adelphic Mobile, an ad tech company founded in late 2010, has raised $10 million in a new round of funding from Google Ventures and Matrix Partners. The Boston-based company hasn't named any of its customers yet, but co-founder Jennifer Lum said the platform is now reaching 20 billion transactions a month.
Although the growth rates in mobile advertising are encouraging, Lum and her colleagues at Adelphic Mobile believe there is a disconnect in mobility because advertising is still primarily focused around devices and carriers. "That doesn't really line up with the way brands line up their consumer segments or their targeting segments," Lum said.
"We're bringing audience-based advertising solutions to mobile," Lum said. "We use a combination of targeting techniques and data-collection techniques to understand things about the user."
Adelphic Mobile's platform also categorizes content viewed on mobile devices and determines how users are engaging with that content and which ads have been delivered to them previously. Adelphic can also incorporate first-party data held by publishers or advertisers.
The way Lum sees it, Adelphic Mobile is trying to resolve at least two pain points in mobile advertising: liquidity and optimization. "We believe in order to make mobile a channel that people want to engage heavily in, we need to prove that it's scalable," she said.
If a brand wants to actually spend seven figures on mobile, Adelphic Mobile wants to make that possible, she added. "This was a very big pain point for us when we worked at Quattro Wireless."
Lum and co-founder Changfeng Wang were both at Quattro when Apple acquired the mobile ad firm in early 2010. One of the most discouraging aspects of their experience at Quattro was that even when brands wanted to spend more, "we couldn't take every one of those dollars off the table," she said.
"There's other solutions in the market that I think are working within the confines of the legacy elements that are still effecting mobile," Lum added. Because mobile comes from such a carrier-centric past, many mobile ad tech firms are pursuing point solutions instead of looking at the fundamental problems.
"Our industry needs to show our partners that we can achieve these basic steps at scale," she said.
The new investment from Google Ventures and Matrix Partners will be used to build out the product, sales and marketing teams. Rich Miner, general partner at Google Ventures, has also joined Adelphic's board of directors as a result of the investment.
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Matt Kapko has been writing about mobile since 2006, before it became cool. Based in Long Beach, CA, he has covered mobile entertainment, digital media, marketing, and advertising for several business media outlets. A former editor and reporter for RCR Wireless News, paidContent, and iMedia Connection, Matt is a regular freelance reporter for ClickZ. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @MattKapko or drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 19, 2014