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Mobile Ad Network Vserv Raises $3M From IDG Ventures

Mumbai-based Vserv Digital Services Pvt Ltd has completed its Series A round of funding to the tune of $3 million from technology venture capital firm IDG Ventures India for an undisclosed stake.

Manik Arora and Karan Mohla from IDG Ventures will be joining Vserv’s Board of Directors.

Ajay Adiseshann, founder and managing director of mobile payment company PayMate, recently invested an undisclosed amount in Vserv.

Established in January 2010 by founders Dippak Khurana and Ashay Padwal, the start-up claims it has 50 ad clients and as of May 2011 delivered 6 billion ad requests in S.E.Asia and India. Vserv’s solution App Ad-Wrapper for J2ME apps enables developers to monetise their apps with minimal effort and provides advertisers a unique medium to target the rapidly growing mobile audience. According to data from our research platform VCCEdge, Vserv registered losses of Rs 12 lakh for fiscal 2009-10. The company is not profitable currently.

With the fresh cash infusion, Vserv plans to expand its sales and engineering teams to drive sales growth in India and internationally as well as further develop its solutions. Dippak Khurana, Founder and CEO, Vserv, said “Our 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.”

Vserv plans to expand to S.E.Asia, Middle East and Africa – all markets which have a good overlap of J2me and Android phones. “In terms of critical size of user base, emerging markets will grow in J2ME and Android phones while mature markets will see iPhones and Android, hence our focus on Android platform,” said Khurana, speaking to Techcircle.in.

Manik Arora, Founder and Managing Director, IDG Ventures India, 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 is the largest market for J2ME App downloads. Having researched this dynamic market for the last year, we found Vserv taking a leadership role from India and starting to expand to emerging markets abroad. We look forward to partnering with co-founders Dippak Khurana and Ashay Padwal to help them achieve their vision for Vserv”.

IDG Ventures has also invested in online ad network Ozone Media Solutions Pvt Ltd. They are in complimentary markets and there is a possibility of the two companies working together in the future, Arora told Techcircle.in.

Investor

IDG Ventures India invests in technology-related product and services companies in India, the most recent of which was $5 million in Agile Financial Technologies, a software maker.

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 (wherein ads are placed within an app or game) market will grow from $900 million this year to roughly $5 billion in 2015, according to research firm IDC.

Other portfolio companies are 3DSoC, Apalya, Aujas Networks, ConnectM, iCreate, iProf, iViZ, Kreeda Games, Manthan Systems, Myntra, Ozone Media, Perfint and Sourcebits.