Mobile data startups scoop $68.7m in funding

Mobile app installs are some of the biggest drivers of mobile advertising budgets

Separate funding rounds announced this week reveal investors are still hungry for companies that can help solve difficulties with cross-screen advertising, with AppsFlyer announcing a $56m investment, and Zeotap landing a $12.7m haul.

Israel-based AppsFlyer, an outfit that helps brands determine what drives their app downloads, announced the Series C raise this week, bringing its total funding to $84m.

The funding, which will be used to further its product development and bolster its footprint in APAC, was led by new investors Qumra Capital, as well as Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing (PCI), Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP) and Pitango Growth.

The latest investment deal will also see Qumra Capital partner Boaz Dinte join AppsFlyer's board of directors, with Goldman Sachs PCI also joining as observers, with the latest additions to its leadership helping it explore options, including mergers or acquisitions.

Dinte added: “As mobile and marketing converge, it's clear that AppsFlyer is primed for further growth and we are thrilled to provide more resources for the company to expand its capabilities as a data powerhouse for marketers that's in a league of its own."

AppsFlyer claims to measure $6bn in mobile spend each year, with over 2,000 integration/measurement partners – including Facebook, Google, Tencent, IBM, Twitter and Adobe – with its growth reflecting advertisers’ demand for proven ROI on their digital ad spend.

Oren Kaniel, CEO and co-founder of AppsFlyer, said: "In the past two years we delivered some game-changing products that fundamentally make marketing more accessible, measurable and predictable. This funding round will continue to fuel our product development and advance our strategy to build the ultimate measurement platform for marketers."

Elsewhere, Germany-based Zeotap, an outfit that helps advertisers access telco data without transgressing privacy regulations, also announced today that it has landed $12.7m, or €12m to further its growth with involvement from Capnamic Ventures, Here, Iris Capital, plus New Science Ventures, bringing its total funding in excess of $20m.

The company’s service Determium helps advertisers tap into the entire mobile advertising ecosystem using deterministic telco data (which is then anonymized to protect PII, and produce a “perishable identifier”) to better target their campaigns, with publishers not having to resort to sending as many ads as a consequence, according to Zeotap.

Available data attributes, include: socio-demographic; location; interest and even deterministic mobile purchase intent signals. Zeotap additionally promises to better protect data providers against “data leakage”, given that its “perishable identifier” expires after a number of days.

“This solves one of the fundamental problems of the mobile data business, where datasets are still traded loosely and leakage is rampant,” reads a statement on its website.

Notable backers of the company include former Xaxis chief operating officer Mark Grether, ex-Deusche Telekom chief information officer Steffen Roehn, with the company using its latest funding round to bolster its operations in the US, as well as the recruitment of further engineers to bolster its operations in both its native Germany, Canada, India, Italy and Spain.

Somu Subramaniam, managing partner of New Science Ventures, said: “Zeotap’s focus on bringing the best data assets together in one single platform is a unique opportunity for data owners and buyers alike. We are effectively escaping a world where companies have to manage the complex integration of a multitude of sources before they can draw any real value from data.”

Both companies hope to tap into the fast-developing mobile advertising market with the latest IAB figures demonstrating that mobile advertising budgets have already surpassed that of desktop, with the IAB also teaming with marketers' trade bodies to better help brands target users of the small screen. This is especially true of the fast-developing markets of APAC where much internet usage is leapfrogging the desktop era.

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