More VC money getting invested into one more independent mobile ad network: 4INFO has raised $14 million in funding in a round led by Paul Allen’s firm Vulcan Capital and Mitsui Global. The money will mainly be used to spin off and develop the company’s AdHaven mobile audience platform division.
4INFO, meanwhile, will focus on its other business area in mobile ad technology and ad sales, and plans on making further acquisitions.
The company was first established back in 2004 and initially built its business up around SMS-based advertising, such as the example pictured here. This has remained a core area for the company even as it has expanded into the newer formats that have arisen with the arrival of smartphones, apps and more usage of the mobile web. To date 4INFO has raised $52 million.
In addition to Vulcan and Mitsui, this current round included investment existing investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Gannett (NYSE: GCI), Mezzanine Capital and U.S. Venture Partners. Stuart Nagae, a partner at Vulcan, is joining 4INFO’s board of directors.
AdHaven, which 4INFO calls “the industry’s first” mobile audience platform, brings together several of the technical, behind-the-scenes aspects of mobile advertising that will likely grow in importance as advertisers look for more specific and assured ways of getting their campaigns seen by the right people: the services offered by AdHaven include audience targeting and analytics, and these are used in campaigns that can be delivered across a range of mobile screens and formats, including mobile web pages, apps and text messages — and covering a variety of formats, from rich-media technologies like video, to those more basic services like SMS that are still the company’s bread and butter. AdHaven works with platform partners to also deliver those campaigns across both mobile and online screens.
4INFO claims that its AdHaven platform currently reaches 90 million uniques per month. Customers include brands like Ford, Universal Pictures, and Proctor & Gamble, with publishers including Gannett, Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) and Aol.
This is not the first eight-figure funding for an independent mobile ad firm in this month: Madvertise raised $10 million from investors including Blumberg Capital. In September InMobi picked up funding of $200 million from Softbank.