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AdMob was one of the big success stories in mobile advertising, at least from a venture capital perspective. Now a team of former AdMob and Google employees are launching a new mobile ad startup called MoPub, and they’ve raised seed funding from AdMob investor Accel Partners.

Chief executive Jim Payne, who focused on metrics at AdMob (more recently, he worked on Google Maps Premier and various monetization initiatives), compared MoPub to online ad server DoubleClick and to AdWhirl, the mobile ad aggregator acquired by AdMob. Both services are now owned by Google, which purchased both DoubleClick and AdMob.

Payne said MoPub addresses a need that he and his cofounders saw at AdMob — specifically, a need for a service that allows mobile application developers to serve ads directly (rather than going through a network), as well as aggregate ads from multiple ad networks. AdMob would probably have built a service like this if it hadn’t been acquired, he said.

MoPub is currently in private beta testing and plans to launch to the public in late January, though Payne said the team is already working to “aggressively” move anyone who asks for an invitation off the wait list. One of its big customers is Booyah, which published MyTown and other social apps. There’s a lot of interest in a “next generation AdWhirl” that isn’t owned by a specific ad network, Payne said.

MoPub currently supports iPhone/iPad and Android applications. Payne said it offers the exact same features on both devices. It will add support for mobile websites soon, he added.

The size of the funding was not disclosed. Harrison Metal Capital and AngelPad (where MoPub was incubated) also invested in the round.


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