Medialets Launches Platform To Match Mobile Advertisers And Publishers

Medialets, which creates rich-media mobile ads for companies including Coca-Cola and Toyota, announced Tuesday a new platform designed to pair top advertisers with premium mobile publishers.

The New York-based start-up, which raised $8.4 million in capital in November and has raised a total of $18.4 million to date, will use its invitation-only marketplace to, in effect, play match-maker for these elite brands and publishers, allowing them to bypass the vagaries of real-time bidding (RTB).

With margins remaining razor-thin in mobile advertising, media-buying is been somewhat relegated to the automated process of RTB, or real-time bidding, where brands often have little control over such essential elements as the publisher and the placement. In its announcement Tuesday, Medialets – which touts Coke, Ritz-Carlton and Toyota among its ad clients, and the New York Times (NYSE: NYT) and Wall Street Journal (NSDQ: NWS) among the publishers it deals with – promised “a fully transparent buying platform that lets advertisers directly plan, buy, execute and measure brand advertising on the mobile properties of the world’s top publishers.”

Such private exchanges are already quite popular in the realm of online display advertising, where brands are seeking to reduce their reliance on third-party networks. Conde Nast, for example, partnered with AdMeld to create such an exchange in November. And over summer, NBC (NSDQ: CMCSA) Universal began expanding its partnership with AdMeld to build a similar private marketplace.

Medialets said it will, for a limited time, waive rich media fees for advertisers new to its marketplace.

(Note: An earlier version of this story neglected to specify that the waived fees applied specifically to rich media)