China not only has the most people in the world, it also has the most smartphone users. The country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a report in March showing that China now has more than one billion mobile phone subscribers and a fast-growing percentage of those people are getting smartphones.
That represents all sorts of opportunities, and a startup with roots in Redmond is trying to capitalize on the trends. Red Loop Media has been around for a few years, but the mobile advertising company just came on our radar a few days ago after a SEC filing popped up showing that it had raised $5.4 million.
The nearly 50-person company is currently split between Redmond, Israel and China, and is looking to make its mark by helping big brands get their messages across to Chinese consumers. Earlier this year, the company announced an exclusive mobile advertising partnership with China Newsweek, published in conunction with one of China’s largest news agencies, China News Service.
Red Loop Media Chairman Harel Kodesh, one of a handful of Seattle area angel investors bankrolling the company, said that mobile advertising remains a “nascent” business in China. But he also added that the market is starting to accelerate, one of the reasons why the company recently brought on new funds.
“Every brand known to man is deciding that China is their next battleground,” said Kodesh, adding that startups in some cases have advantages over big mobile ad players like Google in China.
Kodesh is certainly well known in the Seattle tech community. He spent a number of years in executive roles at Microsoft, serving as vice president of the Information Appliance Division and overseeing the development of the Windows CE operating system. He’s the former CEO of Wingcast, a joint venture of Ford and Qualcomm, and Decho, a cloud storage unit of EMC. And he also served as chief product officer of Amdocs.
The CEO of Red Loop, Teashah Yang, also previously worked at Amdocs and Microsoft. She is primarily based out of China.
Kodesh said that Red Loop — which is already generating revenue — is looking to expand its advertising services in order to take advantage of what he views as a consolidation wave. Once they prove out the business in China, Kodesh said they may expand to other countries. So, why the roots in Redmond given that most of Red Loop’s business in China?
Kodesh said that some of the product management is handled here, but they also wanted a U.S. base in order to better protect the intellectual property of the company. Because of that, Kodesh tells GeekWire that they didn’t think it was worth to “make a big splash in the U.S.”
Total funding in the company now stands at $7 million.