iAd Alums Launch Mobile Audience-Targeting Startup AdMobius, Raise $5M

AdMobius, a startup founded by team members from Apple’s iAd program, is coming out of stealth mode today, and co-founder/ CEO Dan Grigorovici says the company is tackling one of the biggest problems in mobile ads — helping advertisers reach their desired audience.

To do that, AdMobius combines data from publishers, from ad networks and other aggregators, and from third-party data sellers. It then creates audience segments, which networks, publishers, and demand side platforms (DSPs) can use to better target their advertising. The company claims that its segments already cover 65 percent of iPhone users and 91 percent of iPad users globally. It can also create private segments based on a customer’s own data.

Until now, Grigorovici says mobile ads have been targeted largely based on the app that they’re running in — in other words, advertisers know they can reach a certain audience in news apps, another audience in travel apps, and so on. But that approach has limitations. Take Angry Birds. Grigorovici says that it wouldn’t make sense for a high-end brand like Burberry to advertise on Angry Birds: “Purely on a contextual basis, Angry Birds can never sell Burberry which portion of their users are luxury buyers.” However, that’s the kind of audience segmentation that AdMobius is supposed to deliver.

As part of the launch, AdMobius is announcing its first partner, mobile DSP StrikeAd, with promises of more to come soon. It’s also revealing that it has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Opus Capital and Storm Ventures. Opus general partner Bob Borchers and Storm managing director Sanjay Subhedar are joining angel investor Greg Tarr on the AdMobius board.

As I mentioned earlier, the three-person founding team is made up of iAd alums. Grigorovici, for example, was a software manager for analytics and targeting on iAd, and before that vice president of data strategy at Quattro Wireless, the ad company that Apple acquired to build iAd.

By my counting, this appears to be the third mobile ad startup to come out of Quattro, the others being SessionM and Adelphic. When I ask about the other startups, Grigorovici replies, “We don’t have secret meetings every Friday for beer, but I certainly keep in touch with them.”

Maybe it’s time to start talking about a Quattro mafia? Or an iAd diaspora?