Widespace Sees White Space In The Global Mobile Ad Market

Widespace is yet another mobile advertising startup from Sweden. The company provides premium mobile ad network to mobile advertisers, app publishers, and developers. Widespace aims to compete in the crowded mobile advertising space by claiming to allow advertisers superior targeting (by e.g. handsets, operators, and markets), being extremely simple and fast to get started, and taking smaller commission than other networks. For website publishers and app developers added promise is automatic revenue maximization by the company's proprietary algorithm. The startup also claims mobile site owners can considerably reduce their ad administration costs with the solution.

Widespace is currently in a rapid expansion phase, recently announcing widening its scope from publishers in just Sweden to 25 different countries, as reported by dagensmedia.se  (in Swedish). The startup has signed up lots of radio stations to its service. Previously for example SBS Radio, one of the leading European Radio Groups, has agreed to use Widespace's ads in its iPhone and Android applications. According to Widespace, the firm's ad network now reaches 20 million unique visitors a month, out of which 50% come from mobile apps of radio stations. In Sweden the company is said to have about 1.2 million unique visitors a month.

Earlier this year the company hired new head of sales from a big Swedish media house Aftonbladet and consists now of seven employees. Widespace aims to reach sales of of around 5-10 million Swedish kronor (EUR 500k-1M, USD 700k-1.4M) in 2010. This is quite a boost, considering the firm's revenues in 2009 were less than 500,000 kronor.

Widespace was also just nominated for the 2010 Golden Mobile Awards in Sweden. The company was founded in 2007 by Henric Ehrenblad and Patrik Fagerlund, and has received funding from Applied Value Venture Capital.

The mobile advertising space is really crowded and competed, and pretty much everybody promises low commissions and "unique" algorithms for revenue optimization. Then again, the mobile boom is also strengthening again with the smartphone platform wars and general rising trend in mobile usage, and advertising. Widespace has also seems to have interestingly selected a small niche to begin with - radio stations and their apps. It has also cleverly focused on Scandinavia and Northern Europe, gradually expanding its scope. That might also make it interesting acquisition target for some bigger players in the future.

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