General Catalyst managing director George Bell just left the cushy VC life to become CEO of a mobile advertising company, Jumptap.
Earlier, we reported some industry scuttlebutt about Jumptap — that their head of sales recently left, and that Bell would have “massive execution challenges” ahead.
We just got off the phone with Bell, who obviously painted a much brighter picture.
In general, he thinks mobile advertising is going to be a huge business, and that it’s still very early, so Jumptap could be a big, meaningful player.
Here are some notes from our call:
- Bell confirmed that he’s recruiting for a new head of sales. We had reported earlier that sales boss Evan Krauss was no longer with the company.
- But he said that our source’s revenue estimate for Jumptap — around $25 million for the year — is low. In George’s words, that number is “off in a pretty significant fashion.”
- Jumptap pointed us to IDC’s recent report saying that Jumptap represents about 13% of the $500 million U.S. mobile ad market, which suggests $65 million in sales, not including any international business.
- Jumptap is growing revenue 33% quarter-over-quarter, it says. It’s doing about 6 billion to 8 billion impressions per month right now. And it’s serving ads to about 63 million unique visitors. (Sounds like roughly 100 impressions per unique, per month.)
- Jumptap’s board thinks that mobile advertising is more of a media business than people thought, and that Bell’s background — both Internet and media — would be a good fit. “I love being back, operating something again.” (And because he’s already based in Cambridge, Mass., he doesn’t have to move.)
- Mobile the largest platform in the world and getting larger. “I don’t know of a consumer that doesn’t carry a portable device,” Bell says.
- Publishers and advertisers both want independence. Neither set “would be naîve enough” to think that Google and Apple — among the mobile advertising leaders, thus far — don’t have their own agendas. If Jumptap can provide the best yields and most revenue to publishers, it has a chance to compete against anyone.
- Wants to do more with data, targeting, and optimization.
- Jumptap is not raising money right now. And it’s not recapitalizing, as one industry source had suggested.
- The company has around 100 employees and is growing.
- Marketing boss Paran Johar says he is not leaving, as we had heard.