Israeli TodaCell has raised a $1M round to be used to market the company’s mobile ad inventory optimization solution that analyzes users’ click patterns across ad campaigns that span category verticals and age groups.
Through the analysis TodaCell can go back to advertisers and recommend which campaigns will better perform on any of the inventory in its publisher network.
The technology doesn’t offer a ‘hit-the-ground-running’ proposition as it may take a month or two for TodaCell to analyze a publisher’s inventory in order to make ‘intelligent’ recommendations. Sure, a bit of downside, but I’m not aware of machine-learning technologies that offer instant results.
Another benefit TodaCell presents advertisers is that it’s not a blind network in which it’s unknown where ads will actually be served. Campaigns run using TodaCell do offer this type of transparency in advance, which is an important factor for most advertisers and their agencies.
The first I heard of TodaCell was in mid-2007 when it began pitching the local VC’s and angels, subsequently raising a seed round of $350K. Since then deals with companies such as Taptu, Fring, MobiLuck, MocoSpace and TuneWiki have extended TodaCell’s reach from literally zero to 26M unique mobile users per month (by its own account), split 60% US and 40% Europe.
Assuming this number is true, it situates TodaCell as a top 10 mobile ad network.
This traction may not actually be a complete surprise, considering the company’s founder and CEO is Moshe Vaknin, who was also the co-founder and CEO of ad-server company Checkm8. Vaknin was also a co-founder of AdWise, an online ad targeting company which back in 2001 was gearing for an IPO but imploded when its main customer went bankrupt—ah, the good ol’ Bubble 1.0 days. But clearly, ad-serving is something Vankin knows a lot about, and TodaCell is his first venture into the mobile realm of the business.
The $1M investment comes from AfterDox, an investment group comprised exclusively of angel investors who are all current or ex-Amdocs executives. This is an important point as collectively the group has a rolodex chock full of contacts spanning mobile operators and telecom players worldwide—an obvious benefit for TodaCell.
Update: Looks like VC Cafe broke the funding news back in June.