Kiip, the in-game ads startup founded by teen entrepreneur Brian Wong, as well as Amadeus Demarzi and Courtney Guertin has just announced a $4 million Series A round. The round was lead by Omniture investor Hummer Winblad and rounded out by Dave Morin, True Ventures and Crosslink Capital, who also invested in Pandora. Hummer’s Lars Leckie and True Venture’s Phil Black will be joining the Kiip board.
Along with the funding, four new employees will be joining Kiip, former Digg VP of Sales Chris Kobran, EA’s Dan Silberberger as VP of Business Development, Vagrant creator Mitchell Hashimoto as head of Development Operations and Punchd co-founder Grantland Chew as a mobile engineer.
Said Leckie, “We believe Kiip can effectively and successfully enhance monetization opportunities for game developers and maximize user engagement for brands. We believe in the team they have assembled, the technology it’s developed, and Kiip’s tremendous market potential.”
So what sets Kiip apart from in-house networks like iAds or AdMob? Wong tells me that there currently is no mobile ad network that focuses on games, “Game mechanics are what makes games, and there has not been an ad network so far that leverages those mechanics to engage users at the same time.”
Wong says he will use the funds for hiring and for building out the platform and product. Kiip is in stealth, but will be revealing what it actually does at AdTech next week.