With smartphones and tablets breaking away from the pack as the next phase of personal computing, advertising on these devices is poised to become big business. New York’s Medialets, a mobile rich media advertising firms, has been beating Apple on their home turf and capturing dollars from some big brands and publishers. They have now raised a fresh $8.4 million, bringing their total to $18 million.
Peter Kafka broke the news based on an SEC filing. He found previous backers DFJ Gotham and Foundry Group had reinvested, and Medialets CEO Eric Litman confirmed that there were some new investors as well. In that interview he confirmed most of the companies business still revolves around in-app advertising, but Medialets has recently created a self-serve advertising platform and moved into advertising on the mobile web.
Yesterday the big news in mobile advertising was Adobe, which declared an end to Flash for mobile, validating the fiery rhetoric of the late, great Steve Jobs. But Mr. Litman, speaking to Betabeat by phone, said he doesn’t think Adobe is going away. “Sometimes in the life cycle of a company, it’s more profitable to start again. Flash had already saturated the advertising and creative industries. Now they will be introducing new sets of tools to people working HTML 5, creative people who are hard wired to work with Adobe.”
As for Medialets, the new cash will be used to snap up any great engineering talent that comes on the market and to build out their sales staff. So far they have no international business development, although Mr. Litman says they have secured a number of international clients.
Not surprsingly, Mr. Litman is quite bullish on the future. “Mobile is the best medium for advertising created so far. We’re getting to the point where so many people have smartphones. That means an advertiser can deliver with context, who you are and where you are, and that is absolutely huge in terms of reaching the right audience.”