Mobile ad networks got a big piece of validation last week when Google paid $750 million for AdMob, one of the leaders. But they also got a new problem: Google, one of their most logical acquirers, is probably on the bench for a while now.
Still, with plenty of hope for huge growth, we expect to see a lot more news like this: Baltimore-based Millennial Media, another leading mobile ad network, has just raised $16 million in Series C financing, led by New Enterprise Associates. Previous investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Columbia Capital, and Charles River Ventures also participated.
What will Millennial do with the money?
- Continue growing “past the profitability mark”
- Grow internationally
- Hire people
- Build and support more tech
While AdMob gets the headlines — thanks to savvy PR, huge presence on the red-hot iPhone, and detailed monthly stat dumps — Millennial has higher reach, according to Nielsen. And November is looking like a nice growth month for Millennial: It’s projecting that it will receive 6.9 billion U.S. ad requests, up big from the last few months when it was between 5-6 billion.
Who might buy a company like Millennial? Depends on the price, of course. (The company declined multiple requests for revenue or valuation estimates.)
But buyers could include an Internet or large media company like IAC, a phone maker like Nokia, or a carrier like AT&T. Or maybe even Apple, which has been sniffing around “everyone” in the mobile ad industry for a potential deal.
For more on that, see: Why Apple Considered Buying AdMob