Affle Group & MMA launch $3.3 million fund for mobile ads & entrepreneurs in South Asia

In a move that could give a further push to the mobile ecosystem, Singapore-based smart media firm Affle Group and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) on Thursday launched a $3.3 million Mobile2x (M2X) fund. It’s focsed on mobile developers and entrepreneurs based in South Asian countries including India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

The aim of the M2X fund is to enable brands, publishers, agencies, app developers, and entrepreneurs to create mobile assets, increase mobile assets, and invest more in mobile ad spends. In addition, it hopes to promote development of innovative technologies in emerging mobile markets with particular focus on South Asian nations.

Smart media firm Affle Group and not-for-profit global body MMA have joined hands for this unique initiative expected to drive mobile marketing ecosystems in emerging markets.

Under the initiative, selected companies will get funds in two major categories. First, dollar-for-dollar co-investment with advertisers, agencies and publishers for mobile asset creation and advertising campaigns that use mobile as a medium with Affle. And secondly, funding for startups or established companies investing in technology innovation and IP creation in the field of mobile advertising. Interested companies can send their entries by October 1, 2013.

According to Anuj Khanna Sohum, Affle Group’s Founder and Chairman, there’s huge untapped potential for mobile advertising in developing Asian countries. However, there’s an absence of quality mobile assets with limited or almost no funding in mobile advertising and tech innovation.

Affle’s M2X fund is a very unique sector-focused fund that will help grow the industry and help boost entrepreneurship in this domain. Through our dollar-for-dollar matching co-investment scheme, we plan to help qualified brands and publishers increase the value proposition and user traction of their mobile assets. Also through our entrepreneur acceleration program we are confident of providing a significant impetus to ad technology innovation in mobile-first markets.

While Rohit Dadwal, MMA’s Asia Pacific managing director, said that half of the world’s mobile populations are located in Asia and a substantial portion is in emerging markets. On the M2X fund, Dadwal pointed out that the fund has come at an opportune time to mitigate any reticence on the part of advertisers and publishers to add mobile to their media mix, particularly where budgets have been cited as a reason.

M2X will also enable faster go-to-market for companies in this region who are creating products and solutions for the mobile advertising space. It is a strategic industry-focused initiative that aims to encourage this community to place their bets on the power of mobile, while sharing in risk and therefore increasing return-on-investment.

(Editing by Paul Bischoff and Charlie Custer)

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