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Appodeal has raised $8 million for its ad monetization platform. The San Francisco company was formed to provide independent ad mediation, or figuring out what ad to run in order to maximize monetization when an app needs to show an ad.

And it exists as a transparent alternative to the industry giants Facebook and Google. The company will use the money to expand research and development and hire more people. In particular, the company is hiring people at a new office in Minsk, Belarus, a spokeswoman said.

Impulse VC, an adtech-focused fund, led the round. Appodeal has more than 100 employees, and it has now raised more than $11 million.

“The adtech market is built in favor of advertisers, so our priority is to give the advantage to app developers who work hard to create awesome products, and should be rewarded for their efforts,” said Pavel Golubev, CEO and founder of Appodeal, in a statement.

Appodeal’s ad monetization platform includes an ad mediation solution with 60 demand sources in one software development kit (SDK). That saves developers from having to implement many different ad networks individually in their apps.

It also has analytical audience segmentation tools, an ad server for cross-promotion campaigns, and an ad exchange.

Appodeal started as an internal product to optimize the monetization strategy of Golubev’s game publishing company, which had been reaching 5 million daily active users. Soon, he realized the product could be useful for other developers as well, and that’s how Appodeal came to be.

Since its launch in 2015, the company has attracted 33 000 iOS, Android, and Amazon apps, and it has
reached 13 billion ad impressions per month.

According to App Annie, in-app advertising is set to triple, surging from $72 billion in 2016 to $201 billion in 2021. Mobile now accounts for more than half of digital ad spending — 51 percent of the total — a figure that will only increase.

“The market growth alongside with the boost of native, mobile and video ads, AI algorithms improvement make this industry attractive for investors,” said Kirill Belov, managing partner at Impulse VC, in a statement. “We see the incredible potential of Appodeal’s approach placing the developers at the center of their product. By looking at the challenges facing the advertising industry with a fresh perspective, they are leading the way with more effective technology.”

Golubev noted the company recently added Parallel Bidding, a programmatic mediation feature that ups Appodeal’s efforts to be more than just an ad demand partner.

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