Google wants to dominate the mobile ads game like it has with the desktop, so it's a logical move the company would spend US $10 million on funding a mobile ad analytics company.
Mobile devices don't yet generate the advertising return of their larger screened brethren, but a company called Adelphic Mobile does have a unique way of measuring mobile ads. Adelphic looks to be an analytics system that can tell how people are interacting with Web assets, from where and from what device.
Mobile Usage Harder to Track
One of the reasons mobile ads have so far proven to be less effective is because mobile usage itself is simply harder to track. We're talking cookies here, and since mobile browsers like Apple's Safari do not allow third party cookies to be installed, things like conversion rates are harder to get a handle on.
Additionally, apps are very different from the browser environment, so trying to track both app and browser usage with the same analytics package is more difficult. Throw in the small screen sizes on mobile compared to desktops, and it accounts for the mobile ad industry being small time compared to desktops.
Adelphic Mobile's Audience Cube can better target ad campaigns and the Predictive Data Platform throws in the analytics.
Apple Veterans at Adelphic Helm
Apple has its own mobile ad network called iAd. This platform was not homegrown however, and it came out of a start up Apple bought called Quattro Wireless. The people who founded Adelphic are former Quattro team members, so they already have a good track record with this model.
Google isn't the only company to get involved with the Adelphic funding (via Google Ventures) as the company's original investor Matrix Partners also pitched in some more cash. Google has announced it has funded a couple other new investments including US $1.2 million to a social data analysis tool called TruLens, and together with another group of investors, US $1.2 million to a company called SocMetrics.
SocMetrics is similar to TruLens in that it does social media analysis. It's main focus is identifying influencers and building target lists around those most involved with social media properties.