With $33M funding, Sequoia-backed FreeCharge pivots to targeted advertising

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.


Adways’ first global push stalled. Its second one is catching fire

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.


Yahoo confident its native ad service will expand in Taiwan

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.


Baidu reports strong mobile ad sales, echoing Facebook

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 opens up advertising platform to official accounts with over 100k followers

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.


Facebook seeks India revenue boost with ‘missed call’ ads

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 IR-PR Agency Representing Asia-Based Public Companies Launches Website

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.


Malaysia’s MobileAds nabs strategic investment, eyes US market

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.


With new investment, Dentsu wants to make it easier to manage an ecommerce site

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 advertising startup EatAds acquires stealth-mode startup Monitorly

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.


Japanese online ad agencies reach out to smartphone users in Asia

TAG indexTOKYO — 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.


IAB China Launches in Beijing, Joining IAB Global Network to Advance Cooperation between Digital Companies in China and from around the World

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.