- Leanplum raised an additional $27 million in a founding round to support the mobile marketing platform's product development and marketing efforts. Investors Norwest Venture Partners and Shasta Ventures led the round, which included participation from venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins, Canaan and Launchub, per an announcement.
- The company also appointed George Garrick as president and CEO. Garrick has served as CEO of IRI and A.C. Nielsen, and has a background that includes Flycast Communications, Placeware, Wine.com and Tapjoy. Leanplum named Sheri Huston as CFO. She previously worked as a CFO at Comscore Networks and LiquiBox, and had senior financial leadership roles at Rockwell Automation and IRI.
- Momchil Kyurkchiev, co-founder of Leanplum, will assume the role of chief product officer (CPO). Russ Fradin, chairman of Dynamic Signal, will also join Leanplum's board of directors.
Leanplum's funding round aims to support the company's growth as more brands rely on mobile devices to connect with consumers through an expanding selection of apps. Leanplum provides multichannel engagement tools to connect brands with customers through digital channels at different dayparts. Leanplum also aims to expand into more global markets while supporting its relationships with existing customers, Garrick said in a statement.
Leanplum's funding comes as mobile platforms see a greater share of digital ad spending, particularly in video formats. Mobile video is still the fastest-growing ad format with inventory jumping 31% in Q3 from the prior quarter, driving expectations for similar gains in media spending, per the latest report from sell-side platform (SSP) PubMatic. The number of people who watch videos on their mobile phones will swell 6% a year to 2.72 billion people in 2023 from 2.16 billion this year, researcher eMarketer estimated in September.
The surge in mobile video ad inventory is one of the strongest signs that app publishers have expanded their monetization efforts with more engaging ad formats. However, some mobile users may find video ads to be too intrusive. More than one-fourth (28%) of marketers said they had trouble delivering video to in-app users, per a survey by mobile video software company Penthera. The biggest issues that marketers cited with in-app video were awareness (50%), low engagement (41%) and inadequate metrics (40%), the survey found.