Mobile ad platform Moloco raises funding at a $1 billion valuation

Redwood City, CA-based mobile ad platform Moloco has raised a Series C funding round at a $1 billion valuation. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Founded in 2013, Moloco provides solutions and products for mobile user acquisition, programmatic advertising via an automated buying platform called Moloco Cloud, and mobile retargeting as well as a retail media platform that allows ecommerce businesses to maximize their sales with self-optimizing programmatic ad campaigns. 

Ikkjin Ahn, CEO and co-founder of Moloco says relying its technology on machine learning is what makes the company stands in good stead in the post-IDFA world. 

“In the absence of user-specific identifiers, we believe that strong ML will be the keystone to success in mobile advertising for both the supply and demand sides of the marketplace,” Ahn said in a statement

Having 185 headcount currently, Moloco plans to use the new funding to grow the team, especially to hire more machine learning talents. 

IPO is not on the company’s agenda for now. “A public offering would open up a lot of doors for us,” Ahn said. “But, for the time being, we’re focused on working closely with our investors to grow the company, strengthen our products and empower mobile marketers to take control of their growth efforts.”

Ahn says one reason investors are interested in mobile ad business now is the enforcement of the Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency framework

Global mobile ad spending is expected to reach $156.3 billion by 2023 per Mobile Advertising Outlook 2021 report by eMarketer. 

Apple’s move, “invalidates a great deal of data capital accrued by some of the biggest industry players, levelling the playing field for more creative solutions,” Ahn said.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba invited half a dozen marketing industry executives to its headquarters in Hangzhou in order to discuss how the company and its advertising partners can protect their revenue against Apple’s App Tracking Transparency framework. 

Facebook said it expects a significant drop in its ads business, which was the biggest source of revenue in the first quarter of 2021, due to Apple’s ATT. Snap had also warned Apple’s app tracking transparency framework could risk its app business

Written by Jordan Bevan

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