Vserv, a mobile advertising technology provider has raised $15 Mn in funding from hedge fund Maverick Capital and its existing investor IDG Ventures India, valuing the company to $18 Mn. Prior to this, Vserv had raised $3 Mn from venture capital firm IDG Ventures India.
With this investment US-based hedge fund Maverick Capital also marks its entry in the country. The hedge fund manages more than $8 Bn business worldwide.
The online ad-tech firm Vserv competes with the likes of Google and Facebook who work with marketers and online publishers to provide compelling advertisements on various sites and mobile platforms. The company plans to use the funds for further expansion in India, Southeast Asia and other emerging markets by increasing its sales and distribution teams and improving its technology. Vserv claims to have data profiles of over 120 Mn mobile internet users in India, through which it delivers marketing services to over 500 clients across sectors like consumer goods, ecommerce, financial services, and gaming.
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Founded in 2010 under the leadership of Dippak Khurana and Ashay Padwal, Vserv, recently moved its forte from an ad exchange to a mobile marketing platform. It now analyzes and integrates data from telecom operators, offline and online retailers, consumer goods companies and mobile app developers to deliver target specific, real time ads on mobile platforms.
Dippak Khurana, CEO Vserv said, “Vserv has data profiles of over 120 Mn mobile Internet users in India and over 500 Mn across all markets.” He added, “Google has intent data, where consumers show their intent to buy products while Facebook has interest data, indicating various interests of users. However, both capture data through online (or mobile) interactions only. By tying up with a variety of consumer-facing companies, we’re at the forefront of building a smart data platform that can merge both online and offline data on intent and interest. Apart from this, we’ve also built a robust technology on cloud that transforms terabytes of big data to smart data in real time, delivering precise ads to mobile Internet consumers.”
Apart from Vserv other ad-tech firms like Vizury Interactive Solutions raised $16 Mn from Intel capital & its existing investors last year. Amagi Media Labs also raised over $15 Mn funding from Premji Invest and Mayfield Fund prior in this year.
Manik Arora, managing director at IDG Ventures India, said, “Leveraging our partnerships with leading companies from various sectors and Vserv’s mobile focus has rapidly built one of the most valuable data sets on Indian consumers and now extending into south-east Asia consumers. It is great to see Maverick, who understand mobile and marketing globally, invest in Vserv for this reason.”
The VC firm believes that India is now the next large market for ad tech and Big Data companies, partly because of the country’s large technology talent pool.
IDG India has also invested in other ad-tech firms like Ozone Media and Silverpush.