Analysis: Why does Hispanic Mobile Attract Investment Dollars?

Investors are seeing quite a potential in mobile marketing targeting Hispanics.

Venice, California-based Briabe Media, a mobile marketing firm targeting Hispanic, African, and Asian American consumers, just raised more than 2$ million in funding from Stochasto Holdings AS of Norway. According to Briabe, the funding also includes a joint venture between the company and Stochasto Holdings AS. Briabe Media offers up mobile advertising targeted at ethnic audiences, and is headed by James Briggs. It will continue to offer advertisers a comprehensive suite of mobile advertising solutions across multiple and diverse mobile platforms, while integrating new offerings in the areas of mobile CRM, location-based services and live event SMS messaging campaigns.

Large Smartphone User Base

The reason for the growth in Hispanic mobile marketing firms, which also include agencies, is that Hispanics over index in mobile use. In fact, many of them do not have landlines and rely only on mobile communications. In addition, Hispanic mobile phone users also overindex in smartphone usage. Smartphones allow for a myriad of applications, games and also are mobile advertising vehicles (6 Reasons why the Mobile Advertising Sector can take off).

As of December 2010, nearly a third (31%) of all mobile consumers in the United States owned smartphones, cell phones with app-based, web-enabled operating systems. But smartphone penetration is even higher among mobile users who are part of ethnic and racial minorities in the U.S. – namely Asian/Pacific Islanders (45%), Hispanics (45%) and African-Americans (33%), populations that also tend to skew younger. Meanwhile, only 27 percent of White mobile users reported owning a smartphone.

There are several companies betting on mobile platforms targeting Hispanics. These include Hipcricket, a mobile ad network: Edioma, which seeks to provide language translation over the mobile phone, Voxy, which also has a strong emphasis on education, and MocoSpace, mobile social network and gaming platform.