Most people with media jobs in mobile advertising agencies would concede that a mobile ad startup which raised $1.25 million in seed funding at the start of the year — only to raise a further $10.5 million in Series A just eleven months later — is seriously on the rise. And that would be a fair appraisal of New York-based mobile ad retargeting company TapCommerce, which has just bagged that princely little sum courtesy of a round led by RRE Ventures and Bain Capital Ventures.
Mobile advertising aficionados may well be curious about what, exactly, has inspired such investor confidence in the fledgling company.
TapCommerce’s pièce de résistance is mobile ad retargeting, where businesses can target their ads to users based on their previous activity. There are risks attached to this, however; handled well, it provides users with relevant ads. Handled badly, it gets irritating (and just a little bit creepy).
But TapCommerce seems to be getting it right. This week, CEO Brian Long told TechCrunch journalist Anthony Ha that more than 50 customers are now using TapCommerce – including 30 of the top 100 most successful apps.
Ecommerce companies especially seem to like retargeting as a strategy. It’s hardly surprising then that TapCommerce’s can boast customers including eBay, Fab and Jackthreads.
Answering key questions about mobile advertising
While the spend on mobile advertising is definitely on the up and up, Long says that companies are beginning to want answers to some pressing questions. As he puts it:
“Our major thesis is that at some point, all of these companies are going to say, ‘Okay we got the installs, we just spent $3 million, what’s happening now? How are we making money on these people?’”
That’s where TapComcerce’s technology comes in and, despite some emerging competition, its robust enough to be practically unrivalled in the marketplace. It’s capable, Long says, of sucking in “very large amounts of data coupled with sophisticated statistical analysis.”
Some of the new money will be channelled into developing this platform; after all, just because something is good doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement and innovation. But, as Long explains, the big investment is a welcome one mainly because, “part of this is going to be a land grab, just as it was on the web.”