When Jim Payne founded mobile ad management platform MoPub in 2010, his original seed backer was Rich Wong at Accel Partners. Five years and one giant acquisition later — Twitter bought MoPub in late 2013 for $350 million — Payne is joining Accel and preparing to form a new company.
Payne formally left Twitter (TWTR) at the end of last year, telling Fortune yesterday that his “skill-set wasn’t really well-matched to anything that Twitter had open at the time.” He began tinkering with new ideas in the mobile space, with Wong suggesting that he gain more structural support by becoming an entrepreneur-in-residence at Accel.
That’s what Payne is now doing, saying that the EIR role will let him incubate his business idea and also help the broader Accel portfolio in the mobile and monetization spaces.
The new company’s name is MoLabs, and includes former MoPub executives like Kevin Weatherman (previously director of global strategic publisher sales for Twitter) and Natalie Sandoval (who previously led MoPub marketing at Twitter). Payne, however, cautions that this won’t be an extension of continuation of MoPub. “We’re not going to have anything to do with ads… we’re more focused on the mobile platform shift and are still refining the market proposition,” he explains. “I obviously have a lot of affinity for the ‘Mo” prefix, but we’ll eventually re-brand.”
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