Mumbai-based mobile ad network Vserv.mobi claims to have registered 256 billion ad requests (each time an internet user's browser requests information from an ad server, an 'ad request' occurs, so it essentially means ad view) in the financial year ended March 2013. The number is up from 86 billion ad requests in FY12, which means 200 per cent jump in ad views. According to the firm's annual growth report, majority of these ad requests, around 83 billion, came in the January-March quarter.
In its global spread of inventory, India is the biggest market with 33 per cent share, followed by the Middle East and South-east Asia (14 per cent each). In terms of source, majority of the ad requests came from feature phones and the smartphone segment generated only 38 per cent of the total ad requests. This is in line with Vserv's strategy as the firm's focus has been feature phones.
The company was set up in January 2010 by Dippak Khurana and Ashay Padwal. Earlier this year, Vserv told Techcircle.in it was eyeing new territories to expand its global presence. With its operations already in place in India, the US and Europe, the company is now strengthening its foothold in African and the South-east Asian markets.
Dippak Khurana, CEO and co-founder of Vserv said, "As a company, we have crossed the critical tipping point of massive global scale, mirrored in the staggering rise of our network reach and the company's on-ground operations. We stay committed to pushing the mobile Internet ecosystem forward with constant technology innovations that deliver differentiated value for developers, publishers, advertisers and telecom providers alike."
Co-founder and CTO Ashay Padwal said that the platform had crossed the mark of 1 billion ad requests a day in February 2013.
Vserv is backed by IDG Ventures and secured Series A funding of $3 million in July 2011. It has two main products â€“ its flagship AppWrapper and the recently launched AudiencePro. AppWrapper adds advertisements to developers' mobile apps, enabling them to monetise their apps with minimal effort and providing advertisers an effective medium to target the growing mobile audience. AudiencePro combines the scale of Vserv's global mobile ad network with relevant user data from telcos, enabling advertisers to reach target audience based on demographics, spending power, mobile network usage history, location, content relevance and device-specific data.
Vserv has partnered with more than 20,000 mobile apps and is looking to cross the $100 million mark in revenues by 2015. As for brand partners, it has acquired a host of new brands globally such as KFC, GM, Nokia, Colgate and Vodafone, and publishers like AccuWeather, Detik, EA, Kompas, Reuters and Sony Music, among others. The company's developer partners include the likes of HeroCraft, Disney and HandyGames, an official release said.
In the competitive landscape, the market leader in the sector is InMobi. InMobi claims to have reached 691 million unique users per month across 165 countries via mobile devices (covering more than 40 per cent of smartphone users globally). India is InMobi's third largest market after the US and China (read full report here). Besides InMobi, mobile internet firm One97 Communications is also set to foray into the mobile advertisement space with the impending launch of its mobile ad network called Adworks. The ad network, which is scheduled to be launched soon (was supposed to happen in March this year), is currently in private beta.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)