Media Armor Empowers Retailers to Invest Effectively in Mobile Display

by on February 24, 2012

We are very proud to announce that iNovia has led a $1.5M Series A round in Media Armor, a Mobile Display technology company. We first got introduction to the company via a trusted source, in this case it was the CEO of Local Response, Nihal Mehta.  I’ve found that over the years many of my best investments have come when one of my current CEOs makes an introduction, as they appreciate the work you’ve done to help them grow and recognize great fellow entrepreneurs.

Founded in 2010 by Eric Brown, Elizabeth Zalman, and Cindy Bradley, Media Armor is helping top 100 Internet Retailers reach an active buying audience that is constantly connected to the Internet via their Smartphones.   They believe that mobile display should be approached with the same sophistication and accountability as online.  They enable Retailers and Brands to acquire new customers, retarget previous site visitors and remind loyal customers to return to the store.

All ad campaigns are run with a traditional test-and-control, isolating the view-based incremental-impact of their media.  Media Armor is the first in mobile to offer view-through, quantitative test-and-control, and ID-level decisioning based upon a brand’s own data set.

So for us, Media Armor was an obvious fit in the iNovia portfolio and very complementary to the likes of Chango, Collective, Tagman, uKnow, Vizu and 33Across.

I really liked the fact that the founding team has deep experience and knew how to work together, they were all early team members of Dotomi, which sold last year to Valueclick for ~$300MM.  The CEO Liz Zalman was the first account manager at Dotomi and then led their Analytics practice to improve advertiser campaign performance. Eric Brown left Dotomi to join Jumptap, one of the industry’s largest Mobile Ad Networks.  There he learned the mobile ad serving business at an industry innovator. Cindy Bradley was the #1 salesperson at Dotomi and routinely outsold the #2 sales person by double.  She was previously at Coolsavings and achieved similar results as their top sales person for 6 years.

The Mobile ad business is relatively small today, but growing quickly and Goldman Sachs has predicted it will be almost the same size as Online Display by 2016.  A recent data point from Gilt, the US’s largest Flash Sales site, 20% of their holiday sales came from Mobile devices, including iPad. With that kind of behavior, mobile advertising is getting significant more focus from Retailers.

Chemistry among the founders is key, but is as important among the investors. We are extremely pleased to have Greycroft Partners join us in this round and to have Ian Sigalow join the board with me.  This is our 8th deal as co-investors with Greycroft since 2007, so to put it mildly we know them well and appreciate the heavy lifting they do for their portfolio companies. We love to work with the same DNA type as us. We are also excited to have a strong group of knowledgeable digital media entrepreneurs as investors that include Jerry Neumann, Jeffery Silverman, Philip Grieshaber, John Taysom, Steve Tinlin, and Justin Siegel. We expect all of them to add value to the company.

Please welcome Media Armor to the iNovia family.

Geoff Judge