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VServ Launches WAP, Java Apps Ad Network, AdServer; Deals With Nazara, Network18, Mobile ESPN

VServ, company founded by two Mauj Mobile executives Dippak Khurana and Ashay Padwal has launched a mobile advertising network for Java based applications and games. Khurana was previously Business Head (Content & International Operations) at Mauj, where Padwal was CTO. Apart from this, the company also has a mobile advertising network for WAP, and is providing its mobile ad serving technology to media company. In terms of Ad Serving, they’ve tied up with Mobile ESPN and Network18.

Java Apps With Ads

Unlike mobile advertising networks like AdMob and InMobi, which focus on apps on smart phones, which have limited market penetration in countries like India, VServ is going after the middle and lower end of the market with Java enabled phones, which have greater market penetration.

The company has a Java SDK and Java Ad-Wrapper solution, and Khurana claims that they are serving 1 million ad impressions per day on Java apps from 55 application developers, including those from mobile content and games company Nazara Technologies. The Advertising formats they’re enabling include video ads on an app (once 3G services go live in India), with configurable actions that allow advertisers to launch a form or a WAP site. Other ad formats include full screen ads, in-app ads, Click to call ads. Ads are enabled for both pre-launch and both launch both pre and post the launch of the app.


Mobile Ad Network

They’ve also got a mobile advertising network, on which Khurana claims serves 5 million impressions a day. He declined to disclose any publisher names, saying that it is a blind network. Ads available on the network include those similar to expandable ads on the web, which, on clicking, push the site down. Serving of such ads, Khurana says, depends on the capability of the device. Advertisers on board so far include Vodafone, Nazara (also a publisher) and Paymate (right, for ticketing), among others.

Funding

Khurana says that though the venture was initially self funded, they’ve raised $300,000 from a US based Angel Investor, but declined to disclose who. They’re currently in talks for raising venture capital.

Our Take On Formats, Tech

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Our take on these ad units: the form factor of the mobile device is an issue: I find an expandable banners quite intrusive on the web, and an advertisement that takes up the entire screen on the mobile will only reduce my propensity to click. Secondly, it would be expensive for the user to have video ads served on applications over GPRS: why should the user pay data charges for downloading a video ad?

Secondly, the company will eventually have to develop smart phone capabilities, since we expect smart phones to eventually dominate the market, particularly since they enable greater data consumption on 3G networks. Java apps will do for the time being.

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