Real-time bidding

Promising To Bring Mobile Ads On Par With Desktop, Real-Time Bidding Startup Gradient X Leaves Beta

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After a six-month test period, Gradient X took the beta label off its mobile ad platform.

Backed by $3.75 million from GRP Partners (er, I guess that’s Upfront Ventures now) and others, the company claims to bring performance ads on mobile to “feature parity” with other forms of digital advertising. The features highlighted on its website include audience data pulled and normalized from multiple sources, a real-time bidding platform that’s been specifically optimized for mobile, algorithms that predict ad performance, and actionable dashboards (you can see one of those aforementioned dashboards below).

And there are some impressive names involved, both at the company itself and among its advertisers. Gradient X said brands like Western Union, Jeep, Audi, Toyota, Motorola, HTC, and Microsoft have used the platform, while the startup’s founding team includes CEO Brain Baumgart (formerly chief strategy officer at Adconion Direct), CIO Julie Mattern (co-founder and formerly the chief technologist at the Rubicon Project), and CTO Michael Lum (former head of engineering at OpenX).

gradient x dashboard

“To date, agencies, and advertisers have not been able to invest in mobile at the levels they’d like to due to these shortcomings,” Baumgart said in today’s press release. “The Gradient X mobile platform explicitly tackles these issues by providing unparalleled transparency, audience data, and brand safety, all via real-time bidding.”

During the beta period, the company says it grew to provide access to 400 million unique devices and 50 billion impressions. Baumgart told me via email that it continued launching new features during that period, too, including support for rich media and video ads, support and tracking for cost-per-install ad units, and its data-management platform.