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Todacell raises $2M to address need for mobile campaign optimization

In a reflection of the need for mobile campaign optimization as advertising to on-the-go consumers grows, mobile ad network Todacell has raised $2 million in its latest round of funding.

Todacell has developed a proprietary optimization platform to help mobile marketers deliver better performance at lower costs. The funding will be used to make this offering robust while also enabling the company to staff up and expand its footprint geographically.

?This is a big vote of confidence that what we are doing is working,? said Mark Lehmann, CEO of Todacell, New York.

?We want to build out our technology to continue to develop our strategic differentiation,? he said. ?Clients are telling us they want the automatic optimization process - we feel that model works and want to expand.

?We are working to develop more technology to further automate the optimization process so that it is as hands-off as possible. We want to make the technology more bullet-proof, more robust and gather in more aspects of targeting.?

Predicting campaign performance
With the growth in smartphone penetration has come a significant increase in the available mobile ad inventory, making it more challenging for marketers and agencies to insure they are reaching the right users.

The Todacell platform addresses this challenge with optimization and targeting technology to help marketers? campaign reach the right users in a cost-effective manner. Todacell?s technology automatically analyzes publisher inventory and performance so it can deliver only the best-performing campaigns to the publishers with the best results, thereby helping marketers achieve lower costs-per-clicks and higher conversions.

The proprietary analysis tool predicts campaign performance in terms of impressions, clicks and conversions based on available inventory and past performance.

Revenue doubles
The company is growing quickly and reports that revenue doubled during the first half of 2012. To support this growth, Todacell will expand its London office and add an office Berlin, thereby doubling its headcount.

?We are growing at an explosive pace,? Mr. Lehmann said. ?This month, we are going to have a 400 percent increase in revenue from January.

?We have technology that when we run a campaign, our technology automatically collects data and optimizes based on that,? he said.

?We track the conversion process and push out more of the campaign based on targeting that is working and take away what is not working. If a certain version does better, we will optimize based on that.?

The company also reports it has seen tremendous growth in tablet advertising. Where nine months ago, it was not delivering any iPad campaigns, now at least one-third of its campaigns are for Apple?s tablet.

While the mobile advertising space is really beginning to take off, some marketers have still not jumped while those who have tested the waters cannot get enough, per Mr. Lehmann.

?Marketers that are focused on mobile tend to be spending more,? Mr. Lehmann said.

?We pitch agencies and brand marketers all the time,? he said. ?We find that to get them to make the initial test is still a lot of work, but once they see that it works than it is off to the races."

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York