Razorfish mobile lead Paul Gelb has left the agency to become head of strategy for San Francisco-based MoPub, a startup that helps publishers and developers monetize their smartphone apps. In his new role, Gelb is charged with leading the startup’s efforts to strengthen its presence among ad agencies and brand advertisers in connection with in-app advertising.
“As MoPub’s Head of Strategy, we’ll be able to leverage his insights on the advertiser side to help publishers drive more revenue. His contributions to building MoPub’s footprint with agencies and brand advertisers will be impactful to our publishers,” said MoPub CEO Jim Payne, in announcing the hiring Tuesday.
Started by a team of AdMob and Google veterans two years ago, MoPub has raised $6.5 million to date and last year launched a real-time bidded (RTB) exchange managing mobile inventory for iOS and Android. The company says it now serves 15 billion ads per month across 10,000 apps and 5,000 publishers.
MoPub recently announced that average bids per ad request in the second quarter increased 300% from the prior quarter.
“MoPub is cracking the problem of monetization for publishers with their exclusive focus on mobile,” said Gelb, in a statement. “It is clear that the industry has reached a point where a platform exclusively focused on mobile is needed to maximize the opportunities in this dynamic, high growth channel.
Gelb is credited with founding the mobile practice at Razorfish, which a Forrester Wave report earlier this year ranked as one of the four digital agencies for mobile along with AKQA, Ogilvy and TribalDDB. Razorfish’s mobile practice generated $45 million in annual revenue and added over 70 mobile clients including Unilever, Kellogg’s, Citibank and JPMorgan under Gelb’s leadership, according to his LinkedIn bio.