Is a dollar best spent on Facebook ads or across tons of apps via MoPub’s ad exchange? Nanigans can now tell you. It took the last four years of growth to become one of the biggest Facebook Ads API tools managing $500 million a year in spend, with over 60% on mobile. Today it looks beyond Facebook for the first time, teaming up with MoPub to serve ads on thousands of mobile apps and sites.
The news is both a clear indicator of just how big Nanigans has become, and that MoPub is growing increasingly attractive to advertisers in search of publishers.
Nanigans is one of those companies you might not have heard of, but it’s quietly gotten huge. It now has 160 employees across 7 global offices, despite only raising just under $9 million. CEO Ric Calvillo tells me “We’re not near IPO yet” but that “We’re right around break-even on profitability” and it and may raise another round to grow faster.
Running a SaaS model, Nanigans charging advertisers a subscription fee per year depending on how much they spend, rather than marking up ad rates itself. Nanigans has managed to hire some serious talent, including former head of Facebook’s FBX retargeting exchange and notorious prickly pear Antonio Garcia-Martinez.
Nanigans is slugging it out with fellow Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developers like AdParlor, SocialCode, Kenshoo, Ampush, and Alchemy. Some focus on Facebook, while others include search or Twitter advertising in their offerings.
A big problem, though, has been thinking of these channels as genuinely separate. In reality, advertisers just want the biggest bang for their buck, and typically don’t care where that comes from. Nanigans’ new MoPub integration will let it do cross-channel return on investment optimization. That means it can allocate spend to whatever gets the best results, whether that’s on Facebook or in other apps via MoPub.
Nanigans also uses machine learning to predict the lifetime value of customers acquired through its ads and optimizes for maximum revenue in the long-run, rather than just buying the lowest price ads.
The Nanigans expansion beyond Facebook is somewhat of a coming age moment for social advertising. First, it shows Facebook alone can build adtech tools into huge businesses. Second, it signals that social advertising isn’t thought of as some little sidekick to display and search. Businesses need all three working in sync to score the most customers.