Quattro Wireless Hits “Hockey Stick” Growth, Raises Additional $10 Million

3/16/09Follow @wroush

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it really works. But we really didn’t have that data point from the investment standpoint—our hockey stick only took off in November and December. And the first quarter has been amazing so far.

X: Are you helped by the fact that you’re not just placing ads alongside mobile content, but you’re also helping companies produce that content so that it looks good on mobile phones?

AM: I think so. As we got started, we were a super-premium network, with high-end sites like NFL, because of the mobilization technology. Because of that, we got exclusive inventory. The vast majority of our network is stuff that we sell; no one else is selling it. So when it came time to approach agencies and other brands, we were able to offer an immediate premium publishers’ network. We have a lot of great brands in the network, as well as publishers that we don’t mobilize, such as MySpace, and that has brought us real reach. It has helped us evolve into a premium network, with some super content. And the whole idea is that if you match content with specific targeting, you will get an engaged audience, which is part of what has made people excited about mobile.

X: How are you being affected by the shortage of advertising that other mobile advertising networks have run up against?

AM: Everyone wants more ads, there is no doubt about it. We are not in the beginning days, but it’s still the early days. There are more and more brands coming in. We’ve been lucky that we’ve always been a premium network, so we’ve always been working with the bigger brands. On some level that has hurt us, because we don’t have an overwhelming amount of ringtone or mobile-consumable advertising, just because that’s not the type of market we are. For a while, that hurt our overall revenue story. But now the people leading the charge are the brand marketers.

X: How big is the company now, and what kinds of expansion are you planning?

AM: We have 70 people, most of them in Boston. We have about 12 ad sales people in New York. We also have ad sales professionals in Toronto, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. We have three big hires coming up—one is a pretty high-profile person on the sales and marketing side, and we are also adding to our targeting platform on the technology side. We will be putting someone in Europe as well, for our international expansion, which began in January.

X: And the international business has been good, I take it?

AM: There is a lot of regional inventory. We always had a lot of available international impressions, with plenty of international traffic, but Quattro was not filling it. Now we are. It was easy, in January, to turn on the switch and say ‘give us your international ads as well as your North American traffic.’ We were able to pick up literally millions of impressions per month.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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