Indian startup AdNear, which provides location-based intelligence for advertising, has just raised US$19 million in series B funding. What is significant is that a leading Japanese venture capital firm, Global Brain, and the VC arm of Australian telecom giant Telstra have come on board, joining existing investors Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners in this round. AdNear, which started in Bangalore but is now headquartered in Singapore, has taken its unique adtech model across Southeast Asia, Australia, and most recently, Japan.
Softbank, Japan’s robot-loving telco, today announced a business tie-up with Tokyo-based ad tech startup Geniee . Starting next month, Softbank will launch a supply-side advertising platform (SSP), in collaboration with Geniee, which the wireless carrier hopes will give a boost to its internet advertising business. As part of the deal, Softbank will purchase a minority stake in Geniee that accounts for 32.9 percent of the startup’s outstanding shares.
Not so long ago, an ad exchange connecting marketers, advertisers, and publishers with mobile users was the hot new thing. There was no bigger news in late 2012 than social network Facebook kicking off its own ad exchange, FBX , to monetize its millions of users. Just a few months back, Indian superstar InMobi – dubbed “the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network” – launched its ad exchange to capitalize on a growing trend of programmatic buying and selling of ads.
HONG KONG — Google’s problems in China just got worse. As part of a broad campaign to tighten internal security, the Chinese government has draped a darker shroud over Internet communications in recent weeks, a situation that has made it more difficult for Google and its customers to do business. Chinese exporters have struggled to place Google ads that appeal to overseas buyers. Biotechnology researchers in Beijing had trouble recalibrating a costly microscope this summer because they could not locate the online instructions to do so.
Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region in mobile advertising, with India as the most powerful driver in the market. Its mobile-ad impression volume has grown 260 percent since July 2013. This is primarily due to the rapid, nation-wide shift from feature phones to smart devices, which is dominated almost entirely by the Android platform (41.7 percent share, as compared to iOS’ 0.4 percent share).
Everybody loves a reward. Even more so if you get rewarded for something you would’ve done anyway. That’s the premise that FreeCharge, one of India’s hottest startups, began with. It gifts freebies to users who recharge their prepaid mobile phones, direct-to-home satellite television connections, or data cards through the Freecharge platform. Thanks to the mobile explosion in India, the Bangalore-based startup has been growing exponentially – mobile transactions on the FreeCharge app have grown 30 times since January.
Building a global business from Japan is a dicey business. The linguistic, cultural, and enterprise barriers have stymied many Japanese firms, large and small. Adways , a leading ad network, media agency, and app developer, learned this lesson in 2003. The company had expanded to China but was unable to quickly move into other markets. Only after waiting eight years was Adways ready to make its mark on a global scale.
TAIPEI — Yahoo Inc. said Monday its native advertising service in Taiwan is very likely to expand, as the new marketing concept has attracted many brand customers in the country and helped them save costs. The Internet portal said it has landed major brands like Sweden’s furniture retailer IKEA Group, Japanese electronics maker Hitachi Ltd. and South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co. on its native ads platform, which was launched in Taiwan in late June.
Chinese search giant Baidu reported a 34 percent jump in profit for the second quarter, with mobile ad sales accounting for almost a third of revenue for the first time. Baidu’s profit reached 3.5 billion yuan (US$571 million) for the quarter, while revenue soared 59 percent to 12 billion yuan, at the upper end of its forecast. Mobile made up 30 percent of revenue, which was a first for the company, CEO Robin Li said in a statement. A day earlier, Facebook said it more than doubled its profit in the second quarter, with mobile a big factor.
WeChat, China’s top social network and messaging app today launched the open beta of its advertising platform for official accounts, according to QQ Tech. As we reported earlier when Tencent first started testing the ad service, these WeChat ‘subscription’ accounts are used by brands, small businesses, media, and celebrities to send updates in the form of chat messages. Users can click through these messages to read full posts where the ads appear.
SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook Inc wants its users in India to hang up on advertisers. The Internet social networking company is testing a new type of ad in the country that allows mobile phone users to click a button that calls a brand advertiser, immediately hangs up and then receives a return call. The return call delivers pre-recorded audio messages about everything from sponsored cricket scores to information about shopping discounts, minimising data charges for the user. The so-called “missed call” ad was specially created by Facebook to appeal to users in the world’s second-most populous country, and potentially in other emerging markets.
NEW YORK, NY — (Marketwired) — 06/18/14 — Asia IR-PR, a new investor relations and public relations agency representing Asia-based publicly traded companies, today announced the launching of its website, http://www.asia-irpr.com. The site features information on the agency’s staff and services as well as a blog, Asia IR-PR Voice, carrying news and opinion on the agency’s clients and their industries.
Penang-based rich media mobile ad creator startup, MobileAds (previously known as RichMobileAds) has a received an undisclosed strategic investment from Seattle-headquartered HasOffers. CEO and founder Alvin Koay couldn’t share the exact figure but did say it is a bridge round to its series A. The investment sum is six figures.
Dentsu Digital Holdings (DDH), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese advertising giant Dentsu, announced a US$2 million investment in internet infrastructure platform S-cubism. The investment was made through the firm’s VC arm, Dentsu Digital Fund. DDH had partnered with S-cubism since last February but only disclosed its investment Wednesday.
Singapore-based startup EatAds, a marketplace for the buying and selling of outdoor advertising space in Asia and Europe, has acquired a little-known Indian startup called Monitorly for an undisclosed sum. Monitorly hasn’t yet launched yet, and has been operating in stealth mode since its inception. Headed up by Rahul Chidgopkar in Mumbai, the company provides its clients with a tool that monitors outdoor ads, collects data, and provides proof of posting. Monitorly’s technology will now be integrated into EatAds’s software.
TOKYO — Internet advertising agencies from Japan are venturing beyond the channel of personal computers to tap Asia’s rapidly expanding smartphone advertising market. MicroAd, a subsidiary of leading online ad agency CyberAgent, will launch a smartphone business in India later this month. It will analyze the browsing histories of smartphone users and distribute ads catering to their interests.
With the number of web users in China reaching a staggering 618 million, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has formally licensed the Interactive Internet Advertising Committee of China (IIACC) to launch IAB China, furthering its longstanding relationship with Chinese internet companies and the IIACC Secretary General, Chen Yong, a veteran of the Chinese internet marketplace. This new organization will become an important new member of the global IAB network, leveraging the IAB brand and best practices to advance the industry’s interests in a critical marketplace.