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Largest independent ad network, competing with Google and Apple, enters new year with new funding
Mobile advertising platform Millennial Media announced Wednesday that it has raised a new $27.5 million round from Bessemer Venture Partners, Columbia Capital, Charles River Ventures and New Enterprise Associates (NEA). All four had previously invested in the company, along with Acta Wireless.
Millennial is best known (now) for being the largest mobile ad network not owned by either Apple or Google. The latter acquired AdMob in November 2009 for $750 million in stock, while Apple acquired Quattro Wireless exactly a year ago today for $275 million.
In spite of having to compete with two of the biggest names in mobile right now, Millennial has carved out a comfortable niche for itself by serving multiple operating systems. After Google first and Apple second, the startup has managed to claim the third largest mobile ad network market share, according to a report released last month by International Data Corporation (IDC).
All in all, Millennial Media reaches over 85 percent of U.S. mobile Web users and serves over 17 billion ad impressions monthly. Globally, the ad network operates in over 250 countries.
Last year, the company business reached operational profitability by tripling revenue from 2009. The company also launched operations in both Europe and Asia/Pacific last year.
A good deal of Millennial’s new cash will likely be spent on acquisitions in 2011, as President and CEO Paul Palmieri confirms in his first blog post of the new year:
“While we will continue to grow our business organically, we also plan to look very carefully at a number of acquisition opportunities in 2011. Following on our successful acquisition and integration of [mobile analytics company] TapMetrics last year, we plan to aggressively pursue these types of growth opportunities as they arise in 2011. Stay tuned for more on this in the coming months.”
Millennial should have little problem finding greater opportunities for expansion, as mobile, especially smartphone usage, only continues to balloon in 2011.
Major content publishers that use Millennial Media currently include Digg, Discovery Channel, Fandango, MTV, Paramount and more.
Here's a good introduction to the business:
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In 1911, Henry Phipps founded Bessemer Securities to reinvest the proceeds of his sale of Carnegie Steel for the benefit of his descendents. The start-up investment operations were spun out into Bessemer Venture Partners, which now operates out of seven offices around the globe.
Joined Vator onAdMob is the world's largest mobile advertising marketplace. Founded in 2006, AdMob allows advertisers to reach their customers on the mobile Web and publishers to increase the value of their mobile sites. AdMob offers both advertisers and publishers the ability to target and personalize advertising to their customers in over 160 countries.
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Quattro Wireless brings publishers, advertisers, and wireless operators together to embrace the mobile Web. The company matches global advertisers with its network of exclusive publisher inventory. Through its GetMobile™ platform, Quattro empowers advertisers and publishers to quickly build, manage and extend their brand to the mobile channel. The result is device-optimized, dynamic mobile Web sites and mobile advertisements that provide a superior user experience and high advertising yield.
Founded in 2006 and based in Waltham, MA, Quattro Wireless is lead by a team of seasoned executives with years of experience in the mobile, interactive advertising, and platform engineering. Quattro's external board members are Bob Davis (Highland Capital Partners), Brent Magid (Frank N. Magid Associates), and Andy Goldfarb (Globespan Capital Partners).