Collier said Rainbow will make money only “when it adds value to the ad, so we’re not charging for access to the consumer.” That means brands or agencies can, for an ad campaign targeting any of Rainbow’s opted-in consumer base, pay a fee that allows them to “pin that audience against the network-level mobile data [like device activity] or the telco CRM data” on subscribers.
Rainbow also is offering a free service where publishers can increase the value of their inventory when opted-in consumers visit a site or app. The benefit for consumers is that they save data on mobile plans and can get refunds from their carrier on data spent on ads served to their phone.
Collier said the company has between 5 million and 10 million users in its network, which exists primarily in markets such as the Caribbean (where it works with carrier Digicel) or Africa (where it works with carrier Econet).
Rainbow would not quantify its opted-in subscribers, but its new mission to power advertising instead of blocking it will kick off in the UK next week. Rainbow works with the British carrier Three, which is owned by Rainbow investor Li Ka-shing.
Aside from the business model pivot, Rainbow also is raising “several million” in a new funding round.