AdMob, a leading mobile advertising platform, just announced that it has raised $15.7 million in a Series C round led by Sequoia Capital's Growth Fund, with participation from Accel Partners. AdMob, which is already seeing positive cash flow, is planning to use this money to expand its international operations, especially in India, South Africa, and Europe.While there has been a lot of doom and gloom around venture capital funding during the current economic crisis in the U.S., some of the more established later-stage companies are still finding it relatively easy to get funding.
Currently, AdMob has over 6000 partners worldwide, which puts it ahead of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Nokia. Among AdMob's partners are a number of major brands, including CoverGirl, Toshiba, Ford, and Comedy Central.
While its focus has been mostly on the U.K. and the U.S., AdMob has also seen a lot of growth in India, Europe, and a number of African countries, including South Africa. As Jason Spero, AdMob's VP of Marketing pointed out to us today, this international growth has been driven largely by AdMob's self-service advertising platform. However, the company is also planning to invest most of its newly raised money to establish and expand its staff and services in Western Europe, India, and South Africa. The company already has offices in London and Mumbai.
Downturn is Not Affecting Mobile Advertising (Yet?)
While speaking to Spero this morning, we also talked a bit about AdMob's reaction to the current economic downturn. Spero pointed out, that AdMob is not seeing any major cutbacks in mobile advertising spending so far, and that a number of companies are actually planning to expand their mobile advertising budget in 2009.
AdMob is also quite bullish about Google's Android platform, though Spero also noted that any phone with a good user-experience for the mobile web is going to be a positive for the mobile advertising market. One handset Spero highlighted is Samsung's Instinct, which did not get a lot of hype from the tech press, but is doing very well on AdMob's advertising network.
The Right Time to Grow
While Sequoia has been quite downbeat about the economic downturn, this new round is drawn from its Growth Fund, which is geared towards later-stage companies. As Jason Spero pointed out to us, AdMob's partners think this is the right time to grow the company aggressively and tackle the international market more directly.