Jumptap Gets $27.5M More for Mobile Ads: IPO or Acquisition Coming?

Everything old is new again. At least in the world of mobile advertising.

Jumptap, the stalwart mobile tech company based in Cambridge, MA, said today it has raised $27.5 million in a new financing round. Previous investors General Catalyst, Redpoint Ventures, Summerhill Venture Partners, Valhalla Partners, and WPP participated in the round, as well as new investor Keating Capital and an undisclosed large investor (hmm…). That brings Jumptap’s total funding to just over $120 million since its founding in 2004. The company says the new money will be put toward accelerating its product and technology development, and to prepare for a potential IPO.

That’s a lot of money raised, but Jumptap has taken a long and interesting path to this point. The company originally started out in mobile search, and is a relative latecomer to mobile advertising (in the past three years or so). Its technical approach—for which it has 29 issued patents, and expects around a dozen more to be issued this year—uses offline data (on things like consumer spending habits and demographics) and analytics to deliver targeted advertising to mobile devices through an ad network.

In case you haven’t heard, the rumor is that Amazon.com has been looking at acquiring Jumptap for a large sum. (I’ve heard speculation of around $600 million.) This sounds plausible, as Amazon needs to get a handle on mobile ads for its Kindle Fire device and mobile-shopping strategy. Such a deal would follow in the grand tradition of mobile-ad acquisitions of the past five years: AOL buying Third Screen Media, Nokia buying Enpocket, Google buying AdMob, Apple buying Quattro Wireless, PayPal/eBay buying Where, Facebook buying…no, wait. Yet an IPO for Jumptap is also plausible now, thanks in part to Millennial Media’s going public in March.

And here’s some more news. Jumptap plans to move from Cambridge to Boston’s Seaport District around September of this year. The company says it expanded its staff by some 50 percent in the past year, and now has about 170 employees. Jumptap is led by CEO George Bell, who succeeded former chief executive Dan Olschwang in 2010.

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