Ad targeting startup Adelphic Mobile looks set to enhance the world of mobile phones advertising dramatically after securing $10 million in Series A funding.
Mobile advertising agencies face particular difficulties not shared by their more traditional internet ad relatives; it’s notoriously difficult to collect reliable consumer data from mobile devices, unlike web sites which allow brands to target particular users with relative ease. But Adelphic Mobile was created by former Quattro colleagues Jennifer Lum and Changfeng Weng in 2010 to address that very problem (Quattro was acquired by Apple recently and is now the tech giant’s iAd program).
Why mobile advertising is a tough cookie
Jennifer Lum summed up the difficulties posed by mobile advertising like this: “It’s hard for brands to find people. It’s hard to describe and package up the mobile industry to sell to audiences.”
There have been a number of new mobile targeting startups launching in recent times, including AdMobius. But what’s different about Adelphic?
The new agency surmounts the difficulty of dropping cookies onto mobiles (collect far fewer of these little data packets than desktop devices) by using 30 different ‘signals’ to monitor online patterns exhibited by smartphone users. Although Lum wasn’t letting any secrets slip through her lips, she revealed that her’s and Weng’s brainchild uses “inference algorithms” (browsing history, log-ins, location perhaps?) to collate an array of data which informs advertisers about whether a smartphone customer has taken up any earlier offers. It also infers user characteristics such as age and gender.
A rising star?
Activity on the platforms has now hit 20 billion transactions, Lum says, and the new funding round (which was led by Google Ventures) will undoubtedly help it expand significantly. Expect the small, 22-strong marketing team to expand appreciably very shortly.
Adelphic’s unique technology, she explains, enables a radical switch from carriers and devices to real consumers. It remains to be seen whether the firm’s new technology will generate more liquidity in the mobile ad market, although it’s poised to boost advertisers’ confidence that they really can at last reach the customer segments they’re aiming for. It’s also likely to help advertisers modify under-performing ad campaigns by providing “live” analytics.
And $10 million says that there are a lot of people out there eagerly seeking an effective solution to the mobile advertising puzzle.