Medialets, a mobile advertising startup that specializes in interactive ads for media companies, has closed a Series B financing round of $6 million from its original backers The Foundry Group and DFJ Gotham, along with a group of new venture backers that includes Dave McClure’s new 500 Startups fund. The company’s ad technology, which takes advantage of mobile-device features such as inertial sensing, is used by media giants such as CNN and Fox.
Medialets came out with a pioneering “shakeable” ad for Dockers clothing last fall (video embedded below) that played a video clip of a model break-dancing in the company’s pants when a user shook their mobile device from side-to-side. At that point, the company was still focused on being a mobile ad network or platform, similar to Google’s (s goog) AdMob or Quattro Wireless, which Apple (s aapl) later acquired to create the foundation for its iAds network. But Medialets says it quickly realized that there was an opportunity to become a technology partner between big media companies and ad networks such as AdMob, so it shifted course and focused on becoming a service provider.
This seems like a smart decision: while Google and Apple battle for market supremacy in the mobile ad network field, Medialets can theoretically carve out a business brokering interactive deals between media companies and whichever ad platform or network they choose to use. It may be a smaller market opportunity than trying to challenge AdMob and iAds in the ad-network business, since Medialets has effectively settled for being an interactive ad agency, but it could ultimately be a wise choice. Medialets’ technology is now integrated into the iPhone, iPad and/or Android apps of major media brands including CNN, Fox, HuffingtonPost, CBS, The New York Times, Yahoo, The Washington Post and The Weather Channel.
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