Samba Bags $377K, Post B2B Pivot, To Grow Its Mobile Video Ad Network

Samba Networks (formerly Samba Mobile) has closed a £250,000 ($377,000) angel round of investment from Digicel, Mark Charkin (formerly of and Bebo), and other existing angels, followed its pivot last year.

The U.K. startup was founded back in 2010, as Samba Mobile, when it raised a chunk of cash for its initial business model, which consisted of offering consumers the carrot of free 3G in exchange for their eyeballs on video ads.

But by April last year it had sloughed off that business model and morphed into a b2b play, inserting its ad video player tech into others’ apps — providing a way for their users to earn credits for use within messaging platforms or earn mobile top ups and the like by watching ads.

The new angel round brings Samba’s total funding raised post-pivot to £400,000 ($603,000). CEO Ben Atherton tells TechCrunch its run rate revenue is now exceeding total pivot funding.

Samba’s first b2b customers included Kik Messenger. Its since also added calling and texting app Freetone and mobile top up  app Recharge Me. Atherton says it has additional apps due to be integrated soon, including one with between 50M and 100M daily active users which he says will be integrated in Q1 of this year.

Samba Networks’ video ad offering is currently claiming an overall reach of 50 million daily actives across all its existing b2b partners. It’s now serving ads in six markets: the U.S., U.K., Germany, Italy, Sweden and Norway.

Ads delivered via its tech gained more than two million views last month, according to Atherton, while it has cumulatively racked up 10 million views, post-pivot.

Mobile ad supply partners including YuMe and Millennial Media. Atherton says he’s expecting two more ad partners to be plugged into the network this quarter.