Accel Leads $6.5 Million Round In MoPub, The DoubleClick For Mobile

MoPub, a mobile advertising startup founded by ex-AdMob and Google employees, has raised $6.5 million in new funding led by Accel Partners with participating from Harrison Metal Capital. Both firms invested seed funding in the startup last December. Accel Partner Rich Wong will be joining MoPub’s board.

MoPub, which part of the first AngelPad class, develops a self-serve ad serving platform for mobile applications and websites that allows mobile publishers to serve direct-sold rich media banner and interstitial ads in addition to optimizing their remnant inventory with networks like AdMob, Jumptap, and Millennial Media. It is essentially a DoubleClick for mobile ads.

With mobile advertising expected to grow to a $20 billion market by 2015, publishers and advertisers are increasingly looking to mobile for serving campaigns and earning money. MoPub itself compares its offering as a mobile analogue to DoubleClick for Publishers and AdMeld, which was recently purchased by Google for $400 million. It allows publishers to book and manage mobile rich media interstitials, banners and custom formats, whether on a direct sold basis or brokered through a network. MoPub is open to any mobile publisher and serves ads across Android, iOS and mobile web platforms.

Often large-scale publishers will broker direct deals with advertisers and agencies for campaigns. MoPub allows publishers to manage and serve these advertisements on mobile apps and sites as well as fill the rest of their inventory with ads from networks. The company’s real-time optimization will detect whether an ad is performing well and will automatically switch low-performing ads across another network.

Although MoPub only launched in February, the startup recently crossed the 1 billion monthly ads mark in June. MoPub currently has over 250 active publishers and is now doubling that number every quarter.CEO Jim Payne tells us that the site aims to be a one stop shop for developers to turn apps into actual businesses, allowing them to manage all their mobile campaigns and ads.

And Wong, who was Accel’s lead investor in AdMob, is bullish on where the startup is heading. he says, “MoPub is part of a new wave of mobile ads companies that are moving the industry forward very rapidly. In a short time, they have put together a widely used product and an incredible team that I believe can build the next big mobile monetization company.”

As for what’s next for MoPub, Payne believes the future of mobile advertising is around realtime bidding, and creating a realtime way to connect the demand side with the buy side. Payne says that Google is done a great job with this model for display but there isn’t one company that has captured the same market share as Google in the mobile advertising world. And while Google integrated mobile ads into DoubleClick, Payne says that this offering is more oriented for mobile web and doesn’t handle rich media campaigns or is optimized for device fragmentation.

Payne says the new funding will be used to double the company’s engineers and to bolster the infrastructure of the startup’s technology.