My co-founder, experienced mobile exec Marc Theermann, and I started working together in February of 2008. After killing a couple of early ideas, we focused on the mobile analytics space. By June, we had a vision of a mobile analytics company that could help substantially improve the performance of mobile advertising across content silos (mobile Web, SMS, video, applications, etc.). We had an idea about how to enable precise ad targeting that’s 100% privacy safe.
During customer development we discovered a stronger than expected level of demand. We could grow fast as long as we could easily insert our technology into the existing mobile advertising value chain. We brought in two additional mobile execs as co-founders and struck a deal to buy a CA-based mobile ad optimization company, which was seeing a good volume of ad impressions already, as part of the Series A to accelerate time-to-market. Despite a $7M term sheet from Polaris the deal with the other two co-founders and the CA company couldn’t survive the pressures of time and the economy. Marc rolled some of the mobile ideas into Smaato, a mobile ad exchange, and then AdMeld (now part of Google), one of the leading real-time advertising companies. I continued thinking about enabling targeted advertising while protecting consumer privacy, which to me co-founding Evidon and later Shopximity.