San Mateo-based AdMob announced today that they have managed to secure an astounding $15.7 million in new funding from Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners in their Series C round. As of this past September, AdMob was serving 4.5 billion ads per month, and announced that it is operating solidly in the black. AdMob's investment total stands at $34.3 million.
Sequoia Capital has most recently been in the news for its fairly viral "Powerpoint Presentation of Doom," painting a dismal picture of what is coming up for startups in the downturning global economy. With VCs getting more hesitant to open their wallets, Sequoia put their money where their mouth is, investing in a cash-flow positive company like AdMob.
With the launch of Google's G1 and the growing inventory of smart phones and their related operating platforms, mobile advertising will likely accelerate (even if sales in smart phones stagnate for a while while people worry about where their extra pocket money is going). The money is partially earmarked for adding staff in key markets with new language interfaces, improving targeting and ad serving algorithms, and increasing their position as sales leader in the U.S. through stronger sales and biz dev teams. However, I'm wondering if AdMob will end up taking a big chunk of this money and buying up some smaller companies in an attempt to keep itself at the top of the mobile advertising game. Because big players like Google and Yahoo seem to be starting to work on mobile strategies (albeit at a snail's pace), AdMob may feel like they are in a good position to solidify their place on top if they acquires some small mobile ad companies.
AdMob also announced an iPhone Developer Program over the summer, highlighted by $1 million in AdMob advertising credit divided between 200 developers in order to acquire traffic for their web apps.