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4info display adsMobile startup 4info first became known for delivering advertising in SMS text messages, but the company moved aggressively into display ads last year, and it sounds like those efforts have paid off.

The company said that the number of mobile display ads it served increased by almost 2,000 percent in 2010. A big increase was probably expected, since 4info didn’t start ramping up its display efforts until recently. The San Mateo, Calif. company launched its AdHaven display ad platform in the third quarter of last year. Before that, it only offered display advertising through an early, beta test version of that platform, and also placed display ads on other ad networks to meet advertisers’ demands.

Perhaps the more significant milestone is the fact that in-app and mobile Web advertising now account for 80 percent of 4info’s ad revenue, while SMS is only 20 percent. The company points to a recent Nielsen report saying that the ad network now reaches more than 69 million unique users, representing 75 percent of the mobile Web in the United States.

4info says that some of its display customers were originally SMS customers who have now signed expanded agreements. Other advertisers are brands with an interest in cross-channel campaigns. Not only does the company offer SMS, mobile Web display, in-app, and mobile video advertising, it also allows brands to build customized apps (presumably using technology from its acquisition of Butter).

For example, 4info’s campaigns included the Backbreaker apps for KFC and the My Holiday Planner app for Universal Pictures’ movie Little Fockers.

4info has raised more than $50 million in funding from US Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, NBC Universal, Mezzanine Capital Partners, Gannett Company, and others.


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