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Jumptap fills the coffers to take advantage of growing mobile ad market

In a reflection of the growing importance of being able to deliver mobile advertising that is targeted, Jumptap has raised $27.5 million in financing to help it drive further growth and prepare for an initial public offering.

The money will be used to expand sales with by adding staff and additional sales locations, hiring in the product and technology areas with an eye toward enhancing the company?s differentiation through data and targeting. The company is also preparing for an initial public offering.

?Twenty-three percent of consumers are spending the majority of their media time on mobile, yet only one percent of advertising is spent on the medium,? said George Bell, CEO at Jumptap, Cambridge, MA.

?The mobile ad industry is like the Wild West, with many advertisers unsure of how to accurately reach the growing mobile audience,? he said.

?That?s where Jumptap comes in. We?ve partnered with more than 20 third-party data providers to enhance our understanding of mobile audience support our targeting technology.?

Quick growth
Mobile ad spend in the United States is expected to reach $2.6 billion in 2012, according to a forecast from eMarketer. The 80 percent increase from 2011 is being fueled by successful mobile ad performance, with competition expected to heat up between ad networks as a result.

In this environment, independent ad networks such as Jumptap are looking to grow quickly and put themselves in the position to take advantage of the blossoming mobile ad market.

Jumptap competitor Millennial Media went public a few months ago, raising $133 million.

Last month, mobile ad network Todacell raised $2 million in its latest round of funding (see story). 

Jumptap partners with third-part data providers to so that advertisers can target their mobile messaging based on a wide range of audience types, thereby enabling them to provide more relevant messaging with the goal of increasing ROI.

Over the past year, Jumptap has extended its ability to target through partnerships with more than 20 third-party data providers such as Polk, Acxiom, Datalogix, Targusinfo, Catalyst, and i360. As a result, Jumptap is able to bring offline data to mobile advertising.

The company is also expanding its targeting capabilities through partnerships with hyper-local firm PlaceIQ and social ad service 140 Proof.

Large opportunity
Jumptap works with brands in major verticals such as automotive, retail, entertainment, consumer packaged goods and financial services.

The ad network reaches 107 million mobile users in the U.S. and 156 million mobile users worldwide.

The company is also building a significant mobile technology patent portfolio, with 29 patents issued and 200 pending.

The investors who participated in Jumptap?s financing round include General Catalyst Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Summerhill Ventures, Valhalla Partners, WPP and Keating Capital.

?The fact that consumers are walking away from the PC and toward smartphones and tablets is a large opportunity for the industry,? Mr. Bell said.

?However, with rapidly growing inventory, the challenge falls in understanding the mobile audience,? he said.

?We?re committed to investing in our product and technology development to further our differentiation in understanding mobile audience and honing our targeting technology.?

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