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Meet Flurry, the mobile analytics startup that matches the right advertisers to the right publishers

As any­one with expe­ri­ence of media jobs in mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies can tell you, if a mobile ana­lyt­ics com­pa­ny can raise just south of $65 mil­lion by its eighth year of exis­tence, it’s got a pret­ty hot prod­uct on offer. And hav­ing raised a fur­ther $12.5 mil­lion in Decem­ber, mobile ana­lyt­ics start­up Flur­ry has joined that select band, bring­ing its invest­ment total to a prince­ly $63.3 million.

From apps to analytics

With offices in New York, San Fran­cis­co, Chica­go, Lon­don and Mum­bai, and employ­ing 150 peo­ple, Flur­ry began life in 2005 as a hum­ble app devel­op­er. Cre­ative geek­i­ness can be a heady mix: the firm soon began shift­ing its focus to ana­lyt­ics for mobile adver­tis­ing and it real­ly hasn’t looked back since.

Flur­ry works like this: it sucks in data from over 1.2 bil­lion tablets and smart­phones every month, cap­tur­ing in excess of 1.3 tril­lion in-app actions con­duct­ed by those device users dur­ing the month. As big data ana­lyt­ics go, this fete is lit­tle short of humon­gous. Today, over 400,000 apps rely on Flurry’s ana­lyt­ics (every month, 20,000 new ones sign up) and the firm works with 125,000 com­pa­nies (chiefly game and app developers).

An inge­nious marketplace

Ear­li­er in 2013, it launched “Flur­ry Mar­ket­place” on its mobile adver­tis­ing plat­form, an auto­mat­ed, pro­gram­mat­ic busi­ness match­mak­ing ser­vice which links adver­tis­ers with the most rel­e­vant con­tent pub­lish­ers. The mar­ket­place essen­tial­ly allows adver­tis­ers to offer ad-buy­ing bids in real time, pre­cise­ly tar­get­ing the audi­ence they’re seek­ing to reach.

The mark­er research firm IDC had fore­cast that ad spend­ing through real-time bid­ding (RTB) will tip over the $13 bil­lion mark by 2016. Ini­tia­tives like Flur­ry Mar­ket­place will undoubt­ed­ly be wel­comed by adver­tis­ers who want to show their ads as effec­tive­ly as pos­si­ble to spe­cif­ic audi­ences (say, women aged 18–34 years) by set­ting bids on ad impres­sions or set­ting lim­its to the amount they’re will­ing to pay for tar­get­ing spe­cif­ic audi­ences. The dynam­ic tech­nol­o­gy fig­ures out the opti­mal price for the trans­ac­tion, max­i­miz­ing ROIs for adver­tis­ers and investors alike, and it lets pub­lish­ers set a floor price so that their inven­to­ry is pro­tect­ed against being dragged down­wards into near-oblivion.

A year ago Flur­ry raised $25 mil­lion, at which point its CEO and Pres­i­dent Simon Kha­laf announced that it had already become cash-flow pos­i­tive and hint­ed at a pos­si­ble IPO.

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