Online ad downturn or not, apparently there’s still plenty of money left to fund fledgling ad networks. Appssavvy, an ad network* for social network applications, closed a Series A round led by True Ventures with participation from About.com founder Scott Kurnit.
The company has worked with some of the biggest app developers on Facebook — SGN, Flixster and Playfish, to name a few. And last week it signed a deal to be the ad sales team for the NBC News app iCue.
But is funding an ad network the smartest move? Yesterday, when ad network Jellycloud shut down, we said, once again, that there are just too many ad networks, especially in the face of a slowdown in the ad market. And while digital ads might fare a little bit better than their counterparts on TV or in print, the advertising market is still soft enough for big networks like AOL’s Platform A to be in trouble.
*Appssavvy CEO Chris Cunningham insists that his company is not a traditional ad network, but a “direct sales team.” But ad network or not, he does acknowledge that his company is going to see a tougher time in the wake of an ad slowdown: “Do we anticipate to see a couple of cuts (in ad spend)? 1000%. But are (the brands) all of a sudden going to say, ‘we’re not going to spend money on social media?’ No. We don’t anticipate (the slowdown) will kill us.”