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$25 Million Raised in Funding by Mobile Ad Company Smaato


Smaato, which is a start-up that offers advertising tools for mobile publishers and developers, is expected to announce that it has raised a $25 million in Series E financing round led by newspaper and magazine publisher, Singapore Press Holdings.

The new financing, which also includes participation from the investment firms such as EDBI and Aeris Capital, is a bet that mobile devices will play an increasingly large role in consumers’ media diet.

Found in 2005, Smaato runs an advertising exchange that lets advertisers buy ad space in auctions that last about 150 milliseconds. Smaato works only on mobile devices, with customers such as Electronic Arts, the video game company and The Times of India. Smaato’s rivals include companies such as Facebook and Google.

Executives of Smaato declined to disclose information about the revenue or company’s valuation. However, they said it collected a percentage fee from either the seller or the buyer of the ad, according to the level of demand.

According to the chief executive and CEO of Smaato, Ragnar Kruse, Singapore Press Holdings plans to use the Smaato product as it undertakes a broad shift of its content toward mobile devices.

Kruse added that that Smaato is profitable and he raised the new funding to help the company to expand rather than to cover existing costs. According to Kruse, the market for mobile advertising will continue to grow.  He specifically argued that despite the buzz around wearable devices, smartphones will remain the “digital hub” for new gadgets.

Kruse said that although Smaato’s strength has been mid-tier mobile publishers, Kruse hopes to recruit higher end publishers too. To do that, Singapore Press Holdings will be launching private ad exchanges.

San Francisco based Smaato has offices in Jakarta, Hamburg, New York and Singapore has now raised $47 million in financing to date.

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