Stealth startup Kiip is proof that in the mobile app market, having something (way) up your sleeve is good enough: The company has landed a $4 million venture capital round before it even reveals exactly what it’s up to.
Kiip—whatever it is—is the brainchild of 19-year-old Brian Wong, late of Digg. All he has revealed publicly to date is that his new launch will focus on the elusive in-game advertising segment and “bridge the gap between mobile advertising and mobile gaming.”
Wong revealed little about Kiip’s plans in a recent interview with VatorNews, but did says the startup will take an entirely new approach to advertising and gaming:
Kiip, said Brian, is a bridge between mobile gaming, advertising, and the "real world." While traveling, he realized that gaming is universal and mobile gaming in particular is explosive. "This type of obsession...this type of engagement was really the holy grail of engagement...something we should try to leverage," said Brian, adding that banner ads are just not cutting it, which is where Kiip will come in to pick up the slack … Brian explained that advertisers today are too focused on impressions, and that Kiip will take a different tactic in that it will emphasize action, which is really the whole essence of mobility.
The advertising industry publication Adweek had more insight (and criticism) of Wong’s plans to revolutionize in-game advertising:
What are venture capitalists thinking when they give a teenager $4 million in funding to launch an in-game ad product for mobile games, where the screens are smaller and the millions paying to play Angry Birds have already demonstrated that ads are not particularly welcome?
Whatever the promised innovation, the funding—not to mention the hype—certainly proves the hunger of investors to be on the ground floor in efforts to find the next new thing in the app world.