xAd Grabs $9M, Prepares for Lo-Mo Expansion

As I’ve written at Internet2Go, xAd this morning announced a $9 million funding round. We’ve now got a situation where xAd and AT&T are both claiming to be the “largest local-mobile ad network.” AT&T offers display ads (mostly in-app), while xAd serves both search and display ads. (Correction: AT&T offers both search and display advertising.)

Previously, in September, xAd said that it had 1.2 million advertisers in its network and that it could deliver a $30 CPM.

In November xAd released its first local-mobile quarterly report with a bunch of interesting data. Among them were the following:

  • 75% of smartphone owners conduct local searches
  • 62% of local-mobile users conduct at least two local searches per month, while 32% of users do at least five local lookups per month

The top local search categories were the following:

  1. Restaurants
  2. Gas stations
  3. Shopping
  4. Auto repair/dealers/rentals
  5. Fast food
  6. Cafes/coffee shops
  7. Travel & lodging
  8. Health & medical
  9. Bars & clubs
  10. Finance & legal

The company also said that mobile CTRs on ads in apps were 8% vs. 5% for ads appearing in the browser. However CTRs online are much lower, with the display average being about 0.09%.

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2 Responses to “xAd Grabs $9M, Prepares for Lo-Mo Expansion”

  1. Evan Freedman says at

    I wonder what percentage of mobile local searches are simply repeat customers looking up a business’ phone number and location while en route to said business?

    For instance, I am constantly having to look up my doctor’s phone number because a) I can’t find their business card, and b) I never think to add my doctor’s office as a contact. Now consider this scenario in a mobile context: I’m on my way to the doctor but I can already see that I’m going to be fairly late, so I pull out my phone and search for my doctor so I can call the office to inform them of my lateness, after which I pull up their address so that I know for sure where I’m going; I wouldn’t want to arrive even later because I got lost on the way!

    I’m assuming this is how “health & medical” and “finance & legal” managed to make into the top ten. I just can’t see anyone choosing a lawyer based on a search from a mobile device. It seems to me that these sorts of complicated but non-immediate needs require much larger screen real estate in order to do one’s due diligence in research. Health & Medical and Finance & Legal just don’t fit the model of mobile behavior, that is, fulfilling basic immediate needs by finding the ideal nearby solution through a quick evaluation of simple criteria.

  2. Greg says at

    Many mobile searches are essentially name and number lookups, yes. They’re effectively replacements for what would have been 411 calls at an earlier time.

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