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News  30, Nov 2012

Sequoia and Canaan invest US$6.3M in Singapore and India based mobile ads firm AdNear

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Singapore and India based mobile advertising startup AdNear has recently announced their Series A funding round of US$6.3 million from Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners.

Founded in 2009, AdNear’s advertising platform helps provide location awareness on mobile phones without GPS or operator assistance. According to VCCircle, the company is currently servicing clients in India, Singapore, Australia and other Asia-Pacific countries. Its key clientele includes brands and advertisers like Toyota, Titan, Ford, PizzaHut, Samsung, Nokia and Airtel, among others. Its technology also enables advertisers to deliver hyper-targeted ads on mobile devices by leveraging on real time geo-location combined with consumer behavior.

The fund will be used to expand the team’s operations in other APAC countries. “We are planning to open two sales offices in Mumbai and Delhi, and another office in Australia in the next six months,” said founder and CEO Anil Mathews. The money will be also used to increase the team size from the current 20 to 60 in the next six months.

Sequoia Capital is one of the more prestigious venture capital firm in the States and has offices in India. Sequoia Capital in India has invested in more than 50 companies during the past decade and has funded an unprecedented number of enormously successful companies including Google, Yahoo, Paypal, Electronic Arts, NVIDIA, Cisco Systems, Oracle, Apple, YouTube, Admob and Zappos. Canaan Partners likewise hasa strong track record and some of its more successful portfolios include Associated Content, the people’s media company recently acquired by Yahoo; CommerceOne, the company that pioneered B2B ecommerce; DoubleClick, a leading online advertising solution; as well as Match.com, the most popular online dating site in the world, co-founded by Singapore based Ong Peng Tsin.

Mobile advertising is huge. Technology giants like Facebook or Google are still struggling to understand the dynamics of mobile advertising. No one has nailed it yet. AdNear, with its strong clientele and proprietary hybrid geo-location platform delivering a hyper local mobile advertising targeting, could be something that the likes of Facebook or Google will be needing. It is hardly surprising that Sequoia and Canaan are putting their money on the table.

Mohit Bhatnagar, managing director at Sequoia Capital India also highlighted how AdNear can be relevant yet non-intrusive. “AdNear offers a unique opportunity for brands to engage with their consumers in a relevant yet non-intrusive way. After establishing the platform in India, the company is now ready to expand globally.”

Jacky Yap

Jacky Yap

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

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