Adfonic snubs VCs to raise £4.7m from Super Angels

Adfonic, the European-based global mobile advertising marketplace, has raised £4.7 million to expand globally. The startup says revenue has grown ten-fold in the last 12 months. The plan is to increase headcount from 40 today to over 100 in 12 months time and open offices across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific by year end.

It’s an unusual round because its from existing investor Gordon Shields, the successful telecoms and environmental entrepreneur and investor, and a handful of other angels. You might say Super Angels. We understand the company spoke at length to VCs but didn’t go with any. That’s quite a comment on the European VC scene, which we’ve covered at length.

CEO Victor Malachard told me: “US VCs wanted us to move to the US but this was the wrong decision for the business when we’re dominant in Europe. We can retain a greater level of control – and we’ve enjoyed a successful and productive relationship with our existing investors.”

Competitors to Adfonic incldue Millenial (US), InMobi, BuzzCity (Singapore), Google/Admob. But Adfonic is the only company of its type with an HQ in Europe.

Adfonic enables advertisers to bid for display advertising space on mobile sites and applications and publishers to monetise mobile traffic. It has a network of 8,000 or so publisher sites and apps and drives over 15 billion monthly ad requests across the network. It serves ads in 192 countries.

According to Gartner worldwide mobile advertising revenue is forecast to reach $3.3 billion in 2011, more than double the $1.6 billion generated in 2010, according to Gartner, Inc. Worldwide revenue will reach $20.6 billion by 2015.*

The funding round follows a cash injection last year and an undisclosed second round funding from a private investor.