IDG Ventures invests $3 million in Vserv

MUMBAI: IDG Ventures India, a venture capital fund that invests in technology-related product and services companies in India, has invested $3 million in Vserv, a mobile-In app advertising firm.

The investment represents the first VC investment in mobile advertising in India since 2008 and is the first institutional investment into Vserv. As part of the investment, Manik Arora and Karan Mohla from IDG Ventures will be joining Vserv‘s board of directors.

Commenting on this new investment, IDG Ventures India‘s founder and managing director Manik Arora said, "While the mobile advertising industry is still relatively young, it is experiencing rapid growth driven by mobile Internet growth and mobile apps growth. Within this, emerging markets are critical given their large and growing mobile phone installed bases - India alone has over 40 million mobile Internet users and the largest market for J2ME App downloads."
With the rollout of 3G in India, consumption of mobile data-services and mobile apps is expected to increase. The mobile phone has transformed into an effective channel to receive advertisements and is increasingly becoming an important engagement tool for brands. Globally, the worldwide mobile advertising revenue is expected to exceed $3 billion in 2011 with Asia-Pacific being half the market.

The global In-App advertising market is expected grow from $900 million this year to roughly $5 billion in 2015 according to IDC.  
Vserv Founder and CEO Dippak Khurana, said, "We are excited to have partnered with IDG Ventures, given their strong reputation in Internet and mobile in India, Asia and the US. With the funds, we plan to expand our sales and engineering teams to drive sales growth in India and internationally as well as further develop our monetisation solutions for the global App developer community.

Our unique App Ad-Wrapper technology for J2ME Apps has been well received by the global developer community as it can support over 500 phone models and allows both new and existing Apps to be Ad-Wrapped and monetized. With this funding, we will extend our offerings to Android Apps, which are increasingly becoming important in emerging markets."

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