Mumbai: Vserv, the leader in Mobile In-App Advertising in India, announced today that it has closed $3 Million in Series A funding by IDG Ventures India. Vserv is a leading mobile advertising network focused on emerging markets having delivered In-App and Wap advertising in over 200 countries for leading Fortune 500 brands and digital media companies. It is a pioneer in Full Screen In-App advertising for J2ME Apps out of India; the largest market globally for J2ME Apps. The company also works with WAP publishers and is currently extending its advertising solutions into Android Apps.
IDG Ventures India is a leading venture capital fund investing in technology-related product and services companies in India. The investment represents the first VC investment in mobile advertising in India since 2008 and is the first institutional investment into Vserv. As part of the investment, Manik Arora and Karan Mohla from IDG Ventures will be joining Vserv’s Board of Directors.
With the rollout of 3G in India, consumption of mobile data-services and mobile apps is expected to increase significantly. The mobile phone has transformed into an effective channel to receive advertisements and is increasingly becoming an important engagement tool for brands. Globally, the worldwide mobile advertising revenue is expected to exceed $3 billion in 2011 with Asia-Pacific being half the market.
Commenting on this new investment Manik Arora, Founder and Managing Director, IDG Ventures India, said, “While the mobile advertising industry is still relatively young, it is experiencing rapid growth driven by Mobile Internet growth and Mobile Apps growth. Within this, emerging markets are critical given their large and growing mobile phone installed bases – India alone has over 40 million Mobile Internet users and the largest market for J2ME App downloads. The global In-App advertising market will grow from US$900 million this year to roughly $5 Billion in 2015 according to IDC. Having researched this dynamic market for the last year, we found Vserv taking a leadership role from India and starting to expand to emerging markets abroad. We look forward to partnering with co-founders Dippak Khurana and Ashay Padwal to help them achieve their vision for Vserv”.
Vserv is the first company globally to have developed a unique App Ad-Wrapper solution for J2ME Apps and is now extending this solution to Android Apps. The App Ad-Wrapper enables mobile app developers to monetize their apps with minimal effort and provides advertisers a unique medium to target the rapidly growing mobile audience.
Dippak Khurana, Founder and CEO, Vserv, said “We are excited to have partnered with IDG Ventures, given their strong reputation in Internet and Mobile in India, Asia and the US. With the funds we plan to expand our sales and engineering teams to drive sales growth in India and internationally as well as further develop our monetization solutions for the global App developer community. Our unique App Ad-Wrapper technology for J2ME Apps has been well received by the global developer community as it can support over 500 phone models and allows both new and existing Apps to be Ad-Wrapped and monetized. With this funding, we will extend our offerings to Android Apps, which are increasingly becoming important in emerging markets.”
Vserv was founded in January 2010 by two well-known figures in the mobile industry in India, Dippak Khurana and Ashay Padwal. Both co-founders worked together at Mauj Mobile where Mr. Khurana led content and international operations and Mr. Padwal led technology, product and operations. In a short span of a year of starting Vserv, the duo developed a unique Ad Serving platform for WAP and In-App that facilitates full-screen billboard ads and video ads for new as well as existing apps across multiple platforms. Vserv’s ad platform is currently getting over 6 billion mobile ad requests every month and is serving mobile ads in over 200 countries. Till date, Vserv has delivered mobile advertising solutions for over 50 multinational brands, such as Google, Yahoo, Nokia, Nike, Samsung and Vodafone.