George Bell Explains Why He Left The Cushy VC Life To Become CEO Of Jumptap

George Bell

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 naĆ®ve 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.

Earlier: “Massive Execution Challenges” Ahead For Jumptap’s New CEO

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