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New deal crowns New York startup Medialets as Vivaki’s king worldwide mobile ad-server

Often derid­ed as too com­plex, the mobile adver­tis­ing that mar­keters com­plain about may soon be rad­i­cal­ly sim­pli­fied, thanks to a new eight-fig­ure deal between New York based mobile ad-serv­er start­up Medi­alets and Pub­li­cis Groupe’s Viva­ki division.

Three years after it wowed mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies with its rich-media, shak­able iPhone ad for Dock­ers back in 2009, Medi­alets now has a major new oppor­tu­ni­ty cour­tesy of Viva­ki. The latter’s tech­nol­o­gy is used by some of the mastodons in the glob­al media world, includ­ing ZenithOp­ti­me­dia and Star­com Medi­avest, along with dig­i­tal-mar­ket­ing firms Razor­fish and Digitas.

Secur­ing the deal was no walk in the park.  Medi­alets was up against four oth­er com­pa­nies, but won the final bid round “by a con­sid­er­able mar­gin”, accord­ing to Vivaki’s Senior VP of plat­forms and ad oper­a­tions, Grace Liau.

A new gate­way to mobile mar­ket­ing dollars?

The con­tract – the startup’s biggest so far – makes it Vivaki’s world­wide serv­er for tablet and mobile phones adver­tis­ing.  Hav­ing a pre­ferred ad serv­er means that Viva­ki can help devel­op its tech­nol­o­gy and uti­lize a prod­uct tai­lored to its client’s needs, Ms. Liau explained.  And it’s a win-win arrange­ment — Medi­alets ben­e­fits from a sup­pli­er who will inte­grate with and add to its tech­nol­o­gy stack, sim­pli­fy­ing the mobile ad process by using one sup­pli­er exclusively.

This could prove a gate­way to more mobile mar­ket­ing dol­lars.  More and more peo­ple are using smart­phones and tablets, but mobile as an ad chan­nel hasn’t real­ly tak­en off yet, large­ly because mar­keters con­sid­er it too com­plex.  How­ev­er, Medi­alets’ tech­nol­o­gy enables easy ad deliv­ery across the whole spec­trum of dis­play vari­a­tions – no mean feat, con­sid­er­ing that there are an esti­mat­ed 490 ad sizes dis­trib­uted across 12,000 devices and three dif­fer­ent oper­at­ing sys­tems.  Such nifty stream­lin­ing by Medi­alets will, it hopes, dis­pel fears about mobile mar­ket­ing and increase investment.

Rich-media rocks for Vivaki

Accord­ing to Ms. Liau, Viva­ki was espe­cial­ly attract­ed to the startup’s rich-media mobile adver­tis­ing capa­bil­i­ties, as well as its exper­tise in plant­i­ng them so effort­less­ly on the whole pletho­ra of tablets and phones.  Medi­alets’ rival bid­ders, by con­trast, tend­ed to view mobile ad-serv­ing “through the lens­es of dis­play ad serv­ing and that was a big prob­lem, because mobile is a very dif­fer­ent beast,” she added.

Medi­alets secured $10 mil­lion in ven­ture cap­i­tal fund­ing from Green­spring Asso­ciates last week, bring­ing its total fund­ing to an impres­sive $28.4 million.

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