Mobile shopper marketing: Start-up raises $50m to advertise to shoppers on the move

By AdNews | 5 September 2014
Turning smartphones into credit cards.

Mobile advertising start-up xAd has raised US$50 million from investors after building a platform that provides insights and contextual information to brands seeking to engage with shoppers on the move. 

The already profitable company provides location-based advertising that enables companies to send offers to consumers while they shop in retail locations. It’s funding round values it at US$250 million.

Often touted as the holy grail of mobile advertising, location-based ad serving to smartphones has been littered with failures in the past decade. This time the market could be ready for the technology as more consumers use smartphones to make purchasing decisions on the move.

The company’s hyper-local mobile location software aims to drive in-store traffic and sales and uses contextual data to underpin its product. In April it launched Footprints, a visualisation platform that provides real-time mobile location targeting, store visit information, and insights and measurement products.

It said its Footprints technology is "revolutionary" in that it "enables brands to evaluate location behaviors for themselves, as they happen, by store, brand or other points of interest, thus allowing for more immediate and informed advertising decisions.”

xAd claims to serve ads that cover 40 billion impressions across seven ad networks. The funding round was lead by Institutional Venture Partners, while Emergence Capital and Softbank Capital also participated.

The company launched a service for national brands in the US in 2012, and claims to have 300 on board, after initially focusing on the SMB market. xAd had previously raised US$24 million.

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