Tapad raises funding to bring real-time data-driven advertising to mobile
March 4, 2011
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Thumbplay founder Are Traasdahl has raised funds from leading online and mobile players to advance the Tapad real-time advertising platform for smartphone devices.
The investors hope to tap into a platform that lets marketers and advertisers make dynamic decisions about the value of an impression before buying an ad.
“Over the last year, we have been building the first version of our product and technology,” said Are Traasdahl, founder and president of Tapad, New York. “We have been running campaigns since the end of 2009, and with the advertiser feedback we have received, we are significantly scaling up on the client services side of our business.
“As a technology company, we are also investing heavily in building more technology and more products,” he said. “We believe that the future winners in the mobile ad space will be the ones that are focused on building the best underlying technology combined with the best services team, so we will be using our funding to grow those parts of the business.”
Growth of mobile
The explosive growth of mobile usage for more than just voice has made mobile advertising an important element of many brands’ overall marketing strategies.
There are, however, some challenges within the mobile space. The audience targeting and real-time bidding capabilities of individual impressions available online are absent from mobile.
Tapad’s technology aims to bring mobile advertising to the sophistication that online has achieved. Tapad claims it is the first real-time advertising platform for iPhones, iPads, Androids and smart televisions.
Mr. Traasdahl explains that Tapad combines audience buying and cross-device targeting, which lets advertisers reach consumers across an array of smartphones.
The aim is to present more relevant results for users and therefore up the ROI for marketers and publishers.
“We have built proprietary technology that allows marketers and advertisers to make real-time decisions about the value of a user before serving an ad,” Mr. Traasdahl said.
“Tapad's cloud-based, open platform is scalable to billions of ad impressions per day, and provides unprecedented transparency and flexibility when buying mobile ads,” he said.
Mr. Traasdahl would not disclose the inner workings of Tapad's technology or the pilot clients using the platform.
From online to mobile
Real-time, data-driven audience buying has been a massive trend in the online ad market the last few years.
If the Tapad mobile technology proves to be successful, it may be the first to allow for this type of buying in the mobile environment, Mr. Traasdahl claims.
There are significant complexities in the mobile environment around user targeting via cookies and the use of first- and third-party data because of all the different ad placements : in-application, mobile Web and standard Web viewed on mobile device.
The various carriers and platforms just add to the confusion. There are a lot of moving pieces which makes this a complex problem.
“We strive for transparency and flexibility for our partners,” Mr. Traasdahl said. “Rather than targeting 1 million users at a low price, advertisers can use Tapad’s technology to target only the 10,000 users who have a higher likelihood of interacting with the ad at a higher price.
“We believe the end result is higher ROI and efficiency for advertisers, more relevant advertising for users, and better monetization for publishers,” he said. “We are very excited to partner with some of the most incredible online ad tech and mobile entrepreneurs.
“They have shaped the online and mobile industries, and we are humbled to have them help us go after this big opportunity. We are not disclosing the funding amount at this stage.”
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