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Stephan Cunningham Joins Gradient X as Vice President of Marketplace Operations

Gradient X, the most advanced programmatic marketing platform for mobile, today named Stephan Cunningham as the vice president of marketplace operations. In this role, Cunningham is charged with managing the Gradient X marketplace including client, partner and vendor relations, first and third-party data management, inventory packaging, and performance optimization.

“As a platform truly built for mobile from the ground up, our mission is to unlock the incredible potential of mobile advertising,” said Brian Baumgart, founder and CEO of Gradient X. “To date, mobile offerings have fallen short of advertisers’ expectations and in less than thirty days since launching our platform into private beta, Gradient X has surpassed the goals for several top brands. Stephan will be an outstanding resource for our customers and partners given his 12 years of experience in digital media.”

Cunningham joins Gradient X from OpenX, a leader in digital and mobile advertising revenue products and services, where he oversaw and developed marketplace strategy for the real-time bidding platform. Prior to OpenX, Cunningham was director of product management at Yahoo!, by way of its acquisition of Overture, where he managed its inventory and yield management platform and worked on search auction and advertiser systems.

“By now, it's clear that mobile will play a major role in marketers' desire to reach consumers moving forward and for me, it's also clear that the technology that Gradient X has built will help them do this effectively and efficiently,” stated Cunningham. “Our product will achieve feature parity with what has come to be expected from more mature channels such as search and display, giving advertisers the tools, technology and trust required to invest more heavily in the mobile channel. I am very excited to be joining such a talented and passionate team.”

According to a recent report by research firm Gartner, mobile ad revenue is expected to jump from $9.6 billion in 2012 to $11.4 billion by the end of this year.* Gradient X is well positioned to take advantage of this growth by leveraging its mobile-centric, cloud-based platform that employs a uniquely scientific real-time bidding process specifically tailored to mobile. This technology enables publishers and buyers to programmatically trade on mobile ad space with greater efficiency, transparency and performance.

Gradient X's founding team consists of top industry insiders including CEO Brian Baumgart, a 14-year industry veteran and former chief strategy officer at Adconion Direct (Adconion Media Group). The company's CIO, Julie Mattern, is co-founder and former chief technologist at the Rubicon Project and CTO, Michael Lum, is the former head of engineering at OpenX.

At the outset of forming the company, Gradient X raised a $3.75 million seed round last spring from venture firms and high-profile angels including GRP Partners, Rincon Venture Partners, Crosscut Ventures, Founder Collective, Double M Capital, Baroda Ventures, Siemer Ventures, Walter Kortschak (Summit Capital), Mark Suster, Jim Willenborg, and Clark Landry.

*Gartner, "Forecast: Mobile Advertising, Worldwide, 2009-2016" January 17, 2013


Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Gradient X has built the most advanced programmatic marketing platform for mobile. The company’s technology brings feature parity to mobile including highly effective predictive bid and optimization algorithms, to data segmentation, advanced targeting and unprecedented control and transparency. For more information, visit

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