Mobclix Returns As Axonix

AxonixMobclix, the mobile ad exchange that was acquired and subsequently sold by the troubled mobile marketing agency Velti, re-emerged Tuesday as Axonix.

GSO Capital Partners, a division of Blackstone, bought Velti’s US, British and Indian mobile marketing divisions (including Mobclix) in November last year.

Axonix will officially launch next month in a partnership with Telefonica, which is sharing joint ownership of the new company with GSO. Simon Birkenhead, Telefonica’s former director of global advertising sales, is Axonix’s CEO and Simon Bailey, former VP of global demand at Mobclix, is its CCO.

Bailey is the only Mobclix employee that has joined Axonix so far. Given that other Mobclix engineers have been hired by other companies, Birkenhead said he is looking for “local talent” in London. At its height, Mobclix had tens of thousands of publishers on its network, noted Birkenhead, who is busy courting publishers and advertisers for the new company.

Axonix’s differentiating point will be its access to Telefonica’s demographic data, according to Birkenhead.

“Telefonica has verified demographic information which is rare within the ad industry,” he said. “Because when you sign a contract [with Telefonica], we know your date of birth, your gender and where you live, so we will have demographic data that is very valuable to advertisers.”

Efforts to integrate and anonymize the telecom’s global customer data into Axonix will start in Germany and Brazil this summer. The company’s road map includes adding a private exchange capability for publishers and advertisers, as well as the ability to target users on real-time location data.

In terms of inventory, Axonix offers purely mobile app inventory and it is in the process of allowing publishers to add mobile Web inventory as well, Bailey said.

Axonix has more than 100 demand-side partners, which are primarily demand-side platforms (DSPs) or ad networks. Brand advertisers are unlikely to connect directly into the Axonix platform and instead access the inventory through a DSP, Bailey added.

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