A Seattle-based startup aims to give comScore some competition in the mobile data market. Ground Truth emerged from stealth mode Monday after two years in development. That's how long it took company executives to build a tracking metrics to monitor what happens on mobile phones.
Backed by Steamboat Ventures and Voyager Capital, the company has developed a "census-based" method that it says accurately measures the mobile Web.
Founded by Michael Libes, who co-founded startup Medio Systems, Ground Truth takes a different approach to monitoring mobile data. It collects data from wireless carriers and infrastructure partners, touting the ability to measure data on 2.5 million mobile users.
Ground Truth -- whose name has its roots in a military term that suggests truth versus a hypothetical reality -- will start by tracking mobile Web sites, including the measurement of hits, pages, unique subscribers, session time and total number of bytes transferred to the phones.
Collecting data direct from actual mobile Internet use makes the data, quite literally, the ground truth, according to a company spokesperson.
Today, the company focuses on U.S. mobile data, but the long-term plan could take metrics global. No plans to announce a global expansion at this time, says the company spokesperson.
While Ground Truth does not segment metrics by phone, such as Apple's iPhone, Google's Nexus One, or Motorola's Droid, it will sell reports to carriers, so they can track mobile sites that perform well. The reports will also highlight how the carriers measure up against the competition.
No one doubts the opportunity for competition in the marketplace to measure mobile Internet use. It does, however, mean going up against established leaders such as comScore, which paid $44.3 million in 2008 for Seattle mobile measurement firm M:Metrics to develop an expertise.
Earlier this month Ground Truth published the top 1-0 mobile Web sites for the first week of 2010, from Jan. 4-10. Ranked by total page views, MySpace took the No. 1 position for mobile visits, followed by Facebook, Google, Mocospace, FunForMobile, AirG, Yahoo, Cellufun, Mbuzzy and Myxer.
Running the company at the top are Sterling Wilson, president and chief executive officer; Michasel "Luni" Libes, founder and chief technology officer; and Joe Levy; vice president and partner marketing.