Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

More Money for Mobile Ads: Medialets Raises Another $8.4 Million

Mobile ads are a smallish business with very big growth projections, which is why investors are happy to pour money into the industry. Today’s example: Mobile ad start-up Medialets has raised another $8.4 million, bringing the New York-based company’s total funding to $18 million over the last couple of years.

An SEC filing indicates that previous backers Foundry Group and DFJ Gotham have reinvested in the company. And CEO Eric Litman says he brought in new investors as well, but he won’t identify them.

He would offer up some basic metrics on his firm’s growth, though: Medialets now has 70 employees, who are working on mobile ad campaigns that average around $150,000 per buy. Most of that comes from “in-app” ads that run on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms, but there is increasing interest in mobile Web advertising as well, Litman says.

Speaking of that: What’s his take on Adobe’s move away from its Flash standard for mobile devices? “I think it’s an awesome opportunity for Adobe to make lots of money getting lots of people to upgrade their tools,” Litman says.

Is he being flip? Nope, he says — he figures that developers who have been building for Flash will simply move to Adobe’s upcoming Edge standard. “When Adobe comes out with new tools, and it’s a reasonable facsimile of what Flash used to do, all those same developers are going to go out and buy it.”

Here’s an example of what Medialets is selling — a Dunkin’ Donuts ad that ran on an EA Scrabble app for the iPhone:

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus