Appssavvy, a New York-based startup focused on activity-based display advertising, has raised $7.1 million in a Series 1-A round that included AOL Ventures among previous investors True Ventures and The New York Times Company. StockTwits CEO Howard Lindzon and Scott Kurnit, founder of About.com and now AdKeeper, have also invested in appssavvy, which released the adtivity platform in September.
The developer is perhaps best known for its brand-to-game content integrations with major social game developers like Zynga. Because the model is based largely on branded virtual goods — like a Coke bottle in FarmVille that revives withered crops — appssavvy is able to quickly and naturally work its way into major social games, effectively turning that game into an ad platform for the brand. Beyond that, however, appssavvy also uses its adtivity platform to serve interstitial ads that related to the experience the user is having in social or mobile apps. For instance, certain ads will appear to users that are completing a level in a game, while users who just made a purchase in a shopping app will see something else entirely.
Appssavvy initially raised $3.1 million in 2008. The company has moved away from selling traditional in-game banner ads, claiming that activity-based media like its adtivity platform delivers engagement four to eight times above industry average.