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10X growth in 18 months: StartApp hits 1.5B downloads, 70K installs, and 200M daily impressions

Eighteen months after it reached the 150 million download plateau, mobile ad platform StartApp announced today that it has now hit over 1.5 billion downloads. And while the official release says the company’s ad software is now embedded in 60,000 apps, CEO Gil Dudkiewicz told me the number is actually higher.”We’re actually higher, at about 70,000 apps right now,” Dudkiewicz said today. “We have the right execution, and the right product in the marketplace … and just in the past month, we’ve added 5,000 new apps via signups on our website.”VentureBeat recently released our Mobile Ad Index, featuring the top 10 mobile advertising companies.[caption id="attachment_889799" align="alignright" width="274"] Ads go here …[/caption]That’s not quite at the level of an Admob, which is in almost 40 percent of all Android apps — or even Millennial Media or Inmobi — but it’s pretty significant for a small Israeli startup.Key to being able to generate that level of developer interest is having a strong relationship with thousands and thousands of advertisers and having interesting and creative ad units, Dudkiewicz added. The company offers just about any kind of ad experience an advertiser could ask for, including search ads, text ads, interstitial ads that are customized to users’ activities, a 3D offerwall, and exit ads when someone is leaving an app as well as banner ads and rich media ads.Importantly, the company says, all of its ads are shown to 100 percent nonincentivized traffic — meaning someone is not just enduring your ad for 5 seconds in order to get free jewel power-ups in their current favorite game.StartApp is only currently available for Android apps, but the company will have big news shortly: It will be launching on iOS “very soon.”In addition, StartApp will allow advertisers to sign up online via its website, also “very soon,” which will reduce the barriers to entry for advertisers to get up and running. And while Dudkiewicz didn’t say exactly how advertisers will be able to purchase ads or interact with StartApp’s publisher inventory, the new functionality will likely enable StartApp to add a real-time bidding engine to its ad platform.The key to StartApp’s success, according to Dudkiewicz?”You have to have innovative ad units … and we’re probably the most innovative in the marketplace.”

Drawbridge comes out of stealth with targeted mobile ads

Spend two minutes on Facebook and you’ll see how targeted ads work — they pick up on the links you click on and search terms you use to serve you relevant ads. Search for breakup songs in Google? You’ll probably get an ad for ice cream on Facebook. Mobile ads aren’t as sophisticated, which is something a young startup called Drawbridge is hoping to change.

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How to win a tech conference startup competition

As a self-proclaimed “startup junkie,” I’ve been to just about every major tech conference. Almost every one has its own version of a “startup competition.”

Google says game developers can rely on ads for income

As mobile app developers figure out the best ways to make money, Google wants to convince them that mobile ads can be a lucrative option — especially on its AdMob mobile ad network. As one piece of evidence, Google sent me a case study that outlines the success of a company called Best, Cool & Fun Games.

Google on track to acquire a new company every 2 weeks

Google is now on track to acquire a new company every two weeks this year. It’s on quite the shopping spree, but for a company that made $24 billion last year alone, it might be exactly what the doctor ordered to keep up with significant competition in the smartphone and search markets.

Google’s Omar Hamoui praises Apple’s iAds

Now that mobile ad network AdMob has been acquired by Google, the company’s founder and chief executive, Omar Hamoui, is getting pulled into what looks like a mobile advertising battle between Apple and Google. Yet Hamoui, who has been named Google’s vice president of mobile ads, said at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat 2010 conference today in San Francisco that he’s actually happy about the existence of Apple’s new iAd mobile advertising program.