Tremor Video Hires Mobclix Engineers Amid Grumblings Of Mobile Insufficiencies

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Bill Day Tremor 2013Video advertising platform Tremor Video announced Tuesday that it had hired 10 engineers from the recently shuttered mobile ad exchange Mobclix. The former Mobclix team will work on the development of Tremor’s programmatic buying solutions for brand advertisers.

Tremor Video was eager to hire its engineers for their experience in mobile and programmatic solutions, said CEO Bill Day.

“We have great depth in brand metrics and brand KPI, and understanding how to productize brand measurement in video,” Day said. “These guys help add to our depth by pushing us into more of the programmatic world. They help to solve problems that we think are relevant to buyers in the future.”

Tremor’s acquisition of mobile-focused engineers comes during a time of intense pressure for the company to boost its performance particularly around mobile. A lawsuit from its shareholders accuses it of failing to disclose to investors that the online advertising industry had shifted its focus from desktop browsing to mobile browsing.

The lawsuit also claims that Tremor’s “inferior mobile browsing capabilities” had caused it to lose sales to competitors. Since Tremor’s IPO this summer, during which shares sold for $10 apiece, its stock has tumbled. (As of this writing, shares had fallen to $4.17.)

Ultimately, the former Mobclix engineers are migrating from one embattled company to another. Since Mobclix’s heyday in 2010, during which it served 3.5 billion ad impressions per month with a $25 million to $30 million run rate, the company was acquired by London-based mobile marketing firm Velti (whose clients included many of the world’s biggest mobile operators such as Vodafone, Verizon and AT&T).

However, word started to spread in early 2013 that Velti was struggling to pay its developers and, in May, the company laid off 200 employees, took a $111 million write-down during this year’s second quarter and sought a buyer for Mobclix as customers abandoned the business. In November, Velti announced it was shutting down Mobclix and that its other US operations were filing for Chapter 11.

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