Apptera Inc., a San Bruno, Calif.-based developer of speech recognition solutions, has raised $10.5 million in fifth-round funding. Return backers include Alloy Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Walden International. The company had previously raised around $25 million.
Apptera, the voice in mobile advertising, today announced that it closed a new $10.5 million round of financing. The investment was led by existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Alloy Ventures, and Walden International. In addition, the company announced that former Yahoo! senior executive David Karnstedt has joined its board of directors.
The new investment will be used to fuel growth of the company’s voice and visual mobile advertising network. Apptera’s flagship MobileAd Xchange enables marketers to cost effectively reach the valuable “mobile trend-spreader” demographic and helps publishers significantly reduce costs by monetizing their phone channel while enhancing the customer experience with contextually relevant messages. Apptera has partnered with many large publishers like AT&T and AOL, and its robust technology platform is serving millions of ads a month, growing at a triple-digit rate.
David Karnstedt has been a leader in digital media and online advertising for more than a decade. Karnstedt was on the executive teams of early startups such as Wired Digital, Alta Vista and Overture, which helped define the online advertising and search marketplace. Most recently, he has led Yahoo’s world renowned sales force, and helped build an impressive network of partnerships with major brands and direct response advertisers. Karnstedt also co-founded the first advertising industry committee focused on the merging importance of search and advertising and has served on the board of directors for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) as well as the Ad Council.
“Apptera is a very dynamic and innovative company in the fast-growing mobile advertising sector,” said Carl Showalter, board member. “Apptera’s solutions are especially valuable to publishers and advertisers in today’s tough economic climate as they help publishers significantly offset costs and generate new revenue streams while enabling marketers to more cost-effectively reach their target consumers. We are also very excited to welcome David Karnstedt to the board. David’s breadth of experience and strong track record of success building new direct response and branded advertising networks will be a valuable catalyst for Apptera’s continued growth.”
According to Henry Vogel, Apptera’s president and CEO, “This latest financing and our new partners will help fuel our continued expansion. I am also excited to work again with David. David’s perspective and relationships will be especially valuable to help us reach the next level.”
Karnstedt correlates Apptera’s potential to a previous employer, Overture, the first company to place highly relevant advertising on search result pages. Advertising triggered from Internet searches is a $10 billion business annually. “Apptera has a similar opportunity to provide targeted, relevant ads into billions of calls and mobile devices that represent a tremendous opportunity to connect with consumers,” he said.
Apptera powers the world’s leading voice and visual mobile ad network, generating revenue for leading players in the entertainment, communications, social media, financial services, retail and other industries. Apptera’s award winning MobileAd Xchange delivers relevant voice advertisements in-call as well as follow-on visual components, such as SMS messages and MMS coupons. Members of the Mobile Ad Xchange and customers of Apptera’s technology include AT&T’s 1-800-YellowPages, AOL’s Moviefone, MovieTickets.com, Bank of America’s ATM locator, SaveMart supermarkets, MLB.com, RadioShack, GSI Commerce, SayNow’s social music service and many others. Privately funded by leading venture capital firms including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Alloy Ventures and Walden International, Apptera has a presence in San Bruno, CA, Hollywood, and New York City. For additional information, visit www.apptera.com.