Ina Fried

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Ex-AdMob Crew Lands Cash to Start Rival

The team at MoPub, which includes several former Google and AdMob employees, have scored an undisclosed amount of funding in a seed round. The backers are Accel Partners and Harrison Metal Capital.

With the phone giants scooping up many of the big-name mobile ad firms, MoPub CEO Jim Payne said there is an opportunity for another strong independent player.

“If I have a mobile app and a bunch of ad inventory and I assign it all to AdMob or iAd, I don’t have a lot of control over what happens,” Payne said in an interview. “This is really about putting control back in the hands of the publishers.”

The field used to be dominated by mobile-specific start-ups, but Google’s purchase of AdMob and Apple’s launch of iAd (and purchase of Quattro Wireless) have changed that landscape significantly.

The service, which MoPub likens to a DoubleClick for mobile publishers, is still in private beta testing. MoPub itself is still tiny though, with basically just the founders and their vision. Payne said the company hopes to staff up to about 10 using the new funding, the size of which he declined to disclose.