Ground Truth Emerges From Stealth Mode to Shine Light on the Mobile Web

A Seattle-based startup is hoping to shed some light on the opaque world of the mobile web — a goal that, if reached, could go a long way toward boosting ad revenues in the space. Ground Truth, which came out of stealth today, collects information from network operators and infrastructure vendors to track traffic and user behavior patterns on the wireless Internet. The company is backed by Steamboat Ventures and Voyager Capital and last year raised $2.6 million in funding.

The surge in mobile applications has given rise to a small army of players that offer analytics for app usage, giving developers and advertisers valuable information about how consumers are using their specific applications and responding to ads. But the mobile web overall has long suffered for a lack of rock-solid data. M:Metrics, which was swallowed by comScore in 2008, gained traction in the space by compiling survey information, while its rival Telephia compiled data via “bill-scraping” — analysis of customers’ mobile bills — and was eventually acquired by Nielsen. Ground Truth uses information that is not personally identifiable and tracks the number of unique visitors to web sites, page views, session length and advertising clicks, as well as determining where a site’s traffic comes from and where it goes.

Ground Truth has leveraged an executive team of mobile heavyweights to gain access to carrier data, and has developed a patent-pending methodology for measuring traffic on the mobile web. If its data is accurate, it will be extremely helpful to advertisers, which have long complained about a lack of visibility in the space. And if advertisers have better ways to track their mobile ad campaigns and measure the returns on their investments, they’ll be far more likely to ramp up spending on the new medium as the economy rebounds.

Image courtesy Flickr user Darrren Hester.

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