Another day, another investment in social in-app or mobile in-app advertising companies.
LifeStreet Media, which embeds advertisements in applications across social media sites or mobile, announced Thursday that it's raised $66 million in financing from Nautic Partners, based in Providence, RI. Founded in 2005, Lifestreet has raised $3.6 million in financing prior to this latest round.
LifeStreet provides in-app advertisements on Facebook and for iOS as well as Android, meaning app developers looking to make money off their apps can tap into LifeStreet to make money. LifeStreet has paid out $100 million to developers since its inception, said Mitchell Weisman, founder and CEO of LifeStreet, in an interview with me. Because of LifeStreet's reach, the company has been able to drive 200 million app installs for its ad clients, which also include many game developers, such as Zynga and Big Fish Games.
Weisman wouldn't disclose how many impressions LifeStreet is serving, but he did say the company is working with more than 2000 developers, who in turn have created multiple apps each.
San Carlos, Calif-based LifeStreet is one of the more seasoned and larger companies that has emerged to target the in-app advertising space. The company had already been generating around $40 million in annual revenue in 2009, said Weisman, though he wouldn't say what revenue is today or how quickly it's growing.
The company has focused a lot on Facebook, and claims to have the largest market share based on internal metrics, including the number of impressions its ads are receiving over ads from other companies, such as AdKnowledge and RockYou. But it's now setting its sights on the mobile in-app market, a space that is heating up with a number of competitors.
Just the other day, a much younger and smaller start-up, Vungle announced that it raised $2 million to provide in-app video ads into mobile gaming applications. There's also Kiip, which has a $100,000 campaign to attract game developers so it can help monetize their inventory with in-app rewards. Mogreet, a mobile video ad company, just raised$4 million in funding, Adelphic, just raised $2 million for mobile ads, and of course theres' in this category Google's AdMob.
LifeStreet hopes to set itself apart with the use of its technology that produces "iterative high velocity" testing that constantly tests various components of an advertisement to reach the optimal campaign. The testing can range from a piece of copy to the background color, to the headline to whether an ad gets more response with a "click here" or "click" or "click now" button. "The way we conduct testing is transformative," said Weisman. "Testing has historically been an event. It's been panel-based. [Now we can] conduct a whole new level of testing at an exponentially higher rate of speed. With Universal Object Serving, testing becomes perpetual."
LifeStreet also charges advertisements mainly on performance-based results. While Weisman wouldn't get into the details, he said that customers will typically let LifeStreet know how much they're willing to spend to acquire a customer and LifeStreet will then only charge a customer if they can meet or beat that price.