Crisp Media, a cross-platform rich media advertising company, today announced that it has raised a $6 million round of growth capital from Meritage Funds, Intel Capital, and EDBI. The round brings Crisp’s total investment to $17 million.
VP of Marketing Tom Limongello says that Crisp will use its new funding to expand into international markets, specifically Asia, and will be establishing a second headquarters in Singapore. The use of cell phones and tablets in Asia is exploding, Limongello said, so building a second home in Singapore, along with partnering with EDBI, one of Singapore’s leading investment firms, will assist the company in its plans to roll out its advertising solutions across Asia.
Crisp will also be using its funds to scale its recently launched rich media ad management platform, Crisp Engage. Engage is a self-service ad management platform that allows companies to build cross-platform rich media campaigns. Engage makes use of HTML5-based ad solutions to enable businesses to run campaigns through the browser, across desktops and mobile, that are relatively SDK-agnostic.
Crisp is currently runing its campaigns across the websites of top publishers like CBS, CNN, ESPN and Yahoo!, and has seen brands including GM, Ford, Toyota, VW, IBM, and Intel use the platform to create rich campaigns.
Crisp also recently teamed with several other publishers to form a consortium called ORMMA Initiative (or the Open Rich Media Mobile Advertising Initiative), which aims to simplify the serving of rich media ads into mobile apps by creating an open standard and API intended to be adopted by leading publishers, developers and vendors. Founding members include The Weather Channel, TringApps, PointRoll, and Jumptap.
Why is this important for ad providers? Well, if an operating system launches a new version of a mobile app, mobile ad providers don’t want to sit around twiddling their thumbs as rich media vendors or analytics providers slowly conform to the new version. As colleague Sarah Lacy pointed out recently, providers want to roll out the best solution as soon as the update takes place, which ORMMA takes steps toward facilitating. A vendor-agnostic HTLM5 standard that can work on any platform, on any handset, without a dozen or so SDKs and constant updates and tweaks, well that’s music to the ears of both publishers and advertisers.
What’s more, if advertisers can scale easily and quickly across various platforms and devices, there will be a lot more money and stake, making the existence of standards (and fair use) not only important — but necessary. If ORMMA can continue to attract big players into its consortium, the more likely it is to become the standard, and an important functionary in the growth and scale of rich mobile advertising.
And $6 million in funding is just more fuel for the fire.