Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Mobile Ad Targeter Tapad Raises $6.5 Million, Valued at $140 Million

Are TraasdahlWeb marketers routinely use “retargeting” to track users as they head from site to site, and serve them up different ads depending on where they’ve been.

But that’s hard to do on phones and tablets — especially Apple’s iOS devices — which is one of the reasons there’s a big mobile ad gap. And it’s one of the reasons there are several startups that claim they can handle “cross-platform” ads.

Here’s one of them: Tapad, a two-year-old company founded by Are Traasdahl, who’s best known as the guy behind Thumbplay, the company that enjoyed a brief but lucrative run selling ringtones a few years ago.

Tapad is notable as much for its pitch as its backers, who include a who’s who of New York City-based ad tech angels, including former DoubleClick CEO David Rosenblatt and AppNexus founder Brian O’Kelley, who pitched in on a $1.8 million round in 2011.

Now they’re back, along with venture firms FirstMark Capital and Avalon Ventures, in a $6.5 million round. Publicly traded Firsthand Technology Value Fund provided the new money for the round, which I’m told values Tapad at more than $140 million.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work