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Nexage raises $10M, reflecting key role of mobile real-time bidding

In a development underscoring the importance of real-time bidding in mobile, Nexage has raised $10 million in a new round of funding led by SingTel Innov8.

Nexage will use the money to enhance its role in mobile advertising and mobile real-time bidding by expanding its products, technology and reach. The funding comes at a time when mobile advertising is growing as publishers make more mobile-specific assets available and brands shift budget into mobile.

?The funding is significant in two ways - the show of market confidence not only in Nexage, but also in the unique and high-value role of RTB in mobile advertising and our opportunity to both lead and benefit from RTB,? said Victor Milligan, chief marketing officer at Nexage, Waltham, MA.

?With this financing in place, we plan on expanding our products and technology, global reach, and ecosystem of buyers and sellers to accelerate liquidity in the mobile advertising industry,? he said.

Growth trajectory
Mobile advertising is at a key point in its evolution with mobile advertising revenue expected to reach $220 billion by 2015, according to Gartner. Last year, mobile advertising spend grew 149 percent last year, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

At the same time, Nexage?s real-time bidding exchange grew in bid volume by more than 70 percent per month in 2011. Real-time bidding is expected to continue to grow and by 2015, to support 27 percent of ad spend, according to IDC.

Some of the benefits of real-time bidding include real-time discovery and targeting capabilities that can help advertisers drive the return on investment for campaigns and help publishers maximize the value of their inventory.

?In this opportunity, mobile RTB is central to achieving results,? Mr. Milligan said. ?It provides the unique and critical role of enabling real-time discovery and targeting, at scale, to enhance publishers? audience value and revenue performance; it also enables buyers to buy only those impressions that fit campaign needs to drive campaign performance. 

?Nexage is leading that charge and extending that leadership with the Series B raise,? he said.

Brand spend adapts
Participants in the Nexage?s latest round of funding include SingTel Innov8, which is the corporate venture capital arm of the SingTel Group, as well as existing investors Relay Ventures and GrandBanks Capital.

Nexage connects over 300 publishers and developers with over 150 demand sources in both public and private exchanges.  The company recently released the Nexage Ad Server 2.0, added publishers including Dictionary.com and ZeptoLab and added buyers such as MediaMath and Drawbridge.

As brands see the shift in consumer behavior in mobile, this is helping to drive mobile advertising growth. The second half of this year is expected to see significant growth in mobile advertising, with that momentum continuing into 2013 and beyond, per Mr. Milligan.

?I think we have simply entered into a timeframe where brand spend is adapting?and where brands can envision, plan, and execute integrated campaigns that exploit the unique value of mobile,? Mr. Milligan said.  ?This is further supported by improvements in creative, publisher mobile assets, and the mobile ecosystem, fueled by RTB. 

?The funding and our ability to expand and enhance our products and technology, expand reach, and drive liquidity is central to both fueling the opportunity ? and benefitting from this extraordinary industry-wide investment,? he said.