Director of marketing Dane Holewinski said that until now, Greystripe has focused on national ad campaigns for large brands. Now, the San Francisco startup wants to start tapping into the growing market for local, mobile ads. It points to a study from BIA Kelsey predicting that the local mobile ad market could be worth more than $2 billion in 2014.
The deal isn’t really focused on “hyperlocal” ads that know exactly where the viewer is and which store is offering a sale a block away, Hoelwinski said, but on “local” in a more traditional sense, serving the publishers and advertisers who want to limit their campaigns to a certain region or city.
With the new deal, MNI’s salesforce will sell local ads that will appear in the Greystripe network. So Greystripe can the hit ground running on local campaigns without having to build out a big salesforce across the country (MNI employs 60 – 70 salespeople compared to Greystripe’s 10 – 15, Holewinski said). The deal will enable MNI to sell mobile ads for the first time.
Greystripe has raised $16.7 million and says that its network reaches 30 million unique monthly visitors. Last fall it expanded beyond apps into mobile websites. MNI is a subsidiary of Time, Inc.