Kara Swisher

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Former Yahoo Ad Exec Michael Katz Gets $3M for Mobile Data Startup


Michael Katz, a former high-profile advertising exec at Yahoo, has launched a mobile data platform called mParticle.

The new company has raised a $3 million seed round from Bowery Capital, Google Ventures, Greylock Partners and a number of prominent angel investors, such as former top Yahoo ad execs Michael Barrett and Michael Walrath.

Considered a savvy player in the online ad and technology space, Katz co-founded mParticle — which lets mobile application developers better “control their data assets” and better understand a range of information — with the main executive team from Interclick. Yahoo bought the ad-tech startup for $270 million in 2011, and Katz had been a key leader at the company until he left after tensions with new management.

“Each interaction between an app and its audience creates really valuable data, yet, to date, app owners have given up control of their data to various service providers to effectively run their business,” said Katz, who will be mParticle’s CEO, in a statement about the new business.

Katz left Yahoo late last year, and was soon in a legal tussle with the Silicon Valley Internet giant over his abrupt departure.

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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