Russ Buckley, who was the first employee and managing director of AdMob (a global mobile advertising network that was sold to Google for $750 million) represented Ballpark Ventures in the deal. Buckley was joined by John Taysom, founder of Reuters Venture Capital, Torben Maajaard, founder of Ciklum and adQuota, and Peter Barry, founder of Vodafone Ventures.
Adding advertisements to a mobile app is far from easy. They often feel incredibly obtrusive, filling up the entire screen with offers completely unrelated to the user. The alternative, until now, has been to squeeze them into tiny banners or icons on the outer rim of the app, severely reducing the chance of someone tapping on it to find out more. Or, there’s also the option of just forgoing them altogether and charging users for the app, of course.
LoopMe is trying to solve this problem using what it describes as a smart, dedicated inbox for in-app advertisements. In reality, it’s a small button or tab that sits somewhere in the app, completely out of the way, with a tailored set of advertisements and offers. The idea is to make the content immediately available for users who are actually interested in downloading new apps, while keeping it as far removed as possible from the people who just want to be left alone.
Stephen Upstone, CEO of LoopMe said: “Investors immediately saw the value of LoopMe, and we had a number of different partners interested. We chose quality of industry experience at the highest level globally and we are thrilled to have secure such high quality investors with experience of building the world’s largest mobile and online ad businesses.”
Founded in London, LoopMe was launched earlier this year and continues to try and innovate in the mobile advertisement space. One of it’s most interesting features leverages the wider community, allowing anyone to vote down bad advertisements or even boot it out of LoopMe’s ad inbox SDK entirely. Conversely, users can choose to promote or approve good app advertisements so that other people see better, or perhaps more relevant offers. Think of it like Reddit, if you will, only for advertisements instead.
LoopMe has also been very careful to try and avoid pulling the user away from the task or app that they were already engaged in. The inbox itself features a simple back button, allowing users to jump back into a game or news feed at any time, but also interact with multiple advertisers in a single session without ever leaving the original app.
It’s smart, and will be warmly welcomed both by app developers looking for a considered monetization strategy, and app users who don’t want to be bombarded by irrelevant marketing campaigns every five seconds. Social networks such as Facebook should take note; our own Martin Bryant has spoken out about the company’s mobile app is testing his patience by frequently showing large gambling apps, regardless of his Likes or browsing history.