In the busy mobile monetization space, advertising platform developer Supersonic (based in Tel Aviv and San Francisco) has closed a $15 million in its second round of institutional funding.
Supersonic’s chief product is a cloud-based software development kit that enables mobile application developers to include robust streaming interactive ads inside their apps. Among its uses, the SDK enables online monetization by engaging mobile users in games and virtual worlds as well as social networks. Virtual currency is earned when mobile users watch branded ads, play a game, or complete offers.
The top investor for this round is one of China’s largest venture capital firms, SAIF Partners. Also participating is Greylock, an existing investor. The round brings outside investment at Supersonic to $23.2 million since the company was founded in 2009 with seed funding of $2 million from Michael Van Swaaij (former chairman of Skype). Greylock also provided $6.2 million in the startup’s first round financing.
Gil Shoham, co-founder and CEO at Supersonic, said, “The app economy is exploding, not just in the U.S. and EMEA, but in APAC as well. We saw this investment as an opportunity to reach our aggressive growth goals over the next 18 months. By taking strategic investments from one of the most successful venture capital firms in China, as well as our existing investors, we believe we have secured the best possible outcome in the region.”
Asked how Supersonic will use the funds, Shoham told VentureBeat, “We have identified several interesting opportunities that … will significantly improve user acquisition effectiveness and ROI.” Shoham also mentioned user elimination, retargeting, and the development of forward-thinking audience targeting as objectives. “We will be looking for acquisitions, as well.”
Shoham says that an IPO is the longer-range plan.
Ben Ng, Partner with SAIF, has joined Supersonic’s board. Supersonic simultaneously announced plans to expand in the Asia-Pacific region by opening offices in Beijing, Tokyo and Bangalore to pursue business development and management of the Asian market.
The company cited strong growth, currently at a $100 million annual run rate during its third quarter.
By the end of 2014, Supersonic estimates it will hire an additional 80, bringing headcount to 250 worldwide from 150 today. The company said it will spend to improve audience targeting and app attribution technology. On the marketing side, Supersonic says it will increase supply-side advertising platform awareness in the industry.
Supersonic’s chief competitors include Tapjoy, TrialPay, Flurry, inMobi, and Millenial Media. A company spokesperson said that Supersonic’s SDK offers a unified, end-end mobile platform for ad developers. The cloud package provides ad serving, network mediation and a real-time bidding (RTB) marketplace. These and other features are included in a single SDK with a single fee structure.Supersonic re-branded itself earlier this month, from SupersonicAds.