Mobile marketing firm Velti on Wednesday announced the launch of a new mobile ad network called Velti Media as it seeks to expand its revenue base and build its U.S. market presence.
Rolled out quietly during the first quarter, Velti Media is already serving 21.6 billion impressions and reaching 264 million unique visitors a month globally, according to Velti CMO Krishna Subramanian. The inventory spans some 40,000 publishing partners and covers the mobile Web and apps running on smartphones and tablets.
The rollout of Velti Media will help the company achieve its goal of expanding business in North America, since the bulk of traffic -- as well as agencies, advertisers and publishers -- is coming from the region, notes Subramanian. But it’s already a crowded market, with ad networks like Millennial Media, Google’s AdMob, Jumptap, Mojiva and InMobi.
One of the selling points that Velti hopes will set it apart from the pack is its Multi-Channel Targeting technology that enables advertisers to retarget consumers from the desktop to the mobile Web, SMS, and apps to help extend campaigns across different platforms. Ad formats available range from standard banners to expandable video ads to location-based overlay units.
Velti has historically focused on providing mobile marketing services through its mGage platform, allowing clients to manage media buys, create mobile apps and Web sites and create mobile CRM and loyalty campaigns, among other things. It also operates the Mobclix mobile ad exchange, which it acquired in 2010. The new third-party ad network is meant to build off those businesses while adding an additional revenue stream for Velti.
“We were seeing an opportunity to take incremental revenue from existing customers back into advertising, instead of them going to other partners or providers,” said Subramanian. “It’s a matter of leveraging data we have from the marketing side of the business to reach those same consumers in the advertising world.”
The move comes amid a period of financial turmoil for Velti as it scales back its business in its original markets in Greece, where it was founded, and Southern Europe to focus on more mature or high-growth regions, including North America, Western Europe, China and India. That strategic shift, however, has come at a high cost.
Earlier this month, the company reported a fourth-quarter adjusted loss of 39 cents a share on revenue of $97.5 million. Analysts had expected a profit of 58 cents on revenue of $106.9 million. The company’s revenue forecasts for the first quarter and full-year 2013 also fell well below analyst predictions.
The disappointing results, coupled with Velti’s shrinking cash position, have seen the company’s stock tumble from almost $4 a share earlier this month to under $2 as of today. Velti CEO Alex Moukas said during the quarterly earnings call the company will continue to go through a transition period this year.
In connection with the new ad network, Velti has also assembled a dedicated 10-person sales team based in New York and led by Michael Hess, who joined the company last year from Say Media, where he was senior vice president of global sales.