Magnetic Gains Added Monies, Considers Mobile Search Retargeting

Venture capitalists have infused $10 million in Magnetic, enabling the search retargeting company to build out services like mobile. The Series B funding -- led by private equity firm Edison Ventures -- also includes participation from IA Capital Partners, NYC Seed, NYC Investment Fund, Jonathan Kraft, Neu Venture Capital and Charles River Ventures.

Mobile sits on Magnetic's product road map. CEO James Green said there's a chance that the company will begin offering search retargeting in mobile in 2012 or 2013. For search retargeting to work, he said, the company needs to combine a device ID that is a substitute for the cookie, standard and compelling ad sizes, and the ability to scale up or down quickly.

Green said each attribute is available separately -- sometimes together, but never at enough scale. "We already see mobile browsers when we collect data a significant percentage of the time. We have the ability to turn on more data acquisition for mobile," he said. "The extra awesome piece would be being able to associate mobile IDs with browser cookies, so we can be smarter about targeting ads."

Although companies have begun to offer this consolidation, Green isn't convinced all the privacy concerns have been addressed.

Magnetic recently announced that it exceeded 500% year-over-year revenue growth this year. While the company continues to accelerate growth, it needed cash to finance expansion plans, both employee and technology. The company plans to triple the size of the development team and grow the ad operations team.

Green admitted that the current fund-raising round was a difficult process. "Many investors in the space already made bets either directly or in adjacent companies that one day could become competitive, such as DataXu or Medi6degrees." Other investors did not want to invest in ad technology because of the industry's mixed returns.

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