JumpTap launches mobile AdWords competitor

Heavily funded mobile search and advertising startup JumpTap is launching a new mobile ad marketplace called tapMatch, which it says will offer a more targeted approach than the competition.

The Cambridge, Mass. company already offers mobile search and display advertising, but tapMatch is JumpTap’s answer to Google’s AdWords, where advertisers can bid to have their ads (usually just a few lines of text) appear next to specific keywords. In tapMatch’s case, those ads can appear on mobile websites, search results, and applications including those offered for the iPhone. Of course, billing yourself as a mobile version of AdWords brings up an obvious competitor: The actual mobile version of AdWords, plus other mobile ad services like Yahoo’s.

The difference, says JumpTap Chief Marketing Officer Paran Johar, is that tapMatch’s ads offers much better targeting. For example, advertisers can ensure that ads only appear on certain phones or on certain carriers, which means companies don’t waste money advertising a mobile app to someone who won’t be able to download it. That targeting also includes data such as demographics and geographic location. (To be clear, ad networks such as AdMob claim similarly detailed targeting, but those aren’t built around JumpTap’s search engine and AdWords-style keyword matching.) Some of tapMatch’s early partners have seen three times as much clickthrough compared to ads in competing networks, Johar says.

JumpTap has raised a total of $73 million in venture backing.

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