The New York Ad-Tech Company That’s Growing at 150 Percent

Mr. O'Kelley. (Businessweek)

Earlier today we told you about Moat, an advertising analytics/magic startup that will measure consumer response to an ad. Moat comes from some of the team behind Right Media, the advertising marketplace aquired by Yahoo in 2007 for more than $680 million. But what happened to Right Media founder Brian O’Kelley?

Mr. O’Kelley is the founder and CEO of AppNexus, a real-time exchange where ad network and publishers can bid on display spots in auctions that take place in the quarter of a second that it takes a page to load.

AppNexus’s went from two employees to 230 in about four-and-a-half years, Mr. O’Kelley told Businessweek in a video interview today. The company opened an office in London last year, an office in San Francisco two weeks ago, and is opening a Paris office next week. AppNexus hosts about 250,000 auctions a second, Mr. O’Kelley said. Read More


Will The Next DoubleClick Come From Wonky World of Ad Verification?

Mr. Netzer

Looking back through the all-too-brief annals of New York tech history, DoubleClick is arguably the city’s most successful exit. The company has always been less-famous for the unsexy business of what it does (dynamic ad serving) than for the fact that Google plunked down a jaw-dropping $3.1 billion for it in 2007. It was the spoils from Doubleclick that enabled Kevin Ryan to go on to launch Gilt Groupe, which begat GroupMe, and so on and so forth. Now, another New York City ad-tech startup is hoping to follow DoubleClick’s lead.

Yesterday DoubleVerify announced that it picked up $33 million from the likes of First Round Capital and JMI Equity. As co-founder Oren Netzer told VentureBeat, “We had half a dozen offers, but JMI was the best choice for a new partner because they know the space so well. We want to be the next DoubleClick and JMI helped DoubleClick grow and eventually be sold to Google for $3.1 billion.” Read More


Twitter-Powered Billboard In Soho Moves in Real-Time According to Your Tweets


The online is moving offline, didn’t you hear? Yesterday, the creative types at Crispin Porter + Bogusky installed a billboard at West Broadway and Grand in Soho that works like a real-world complement to its JELL-O Pudding Face website. Online, the site’s “mood-meter” tracks tweets, purporting to have created “the most accurate gauge of America’s moods ever.” If the nation starts seeming down in the 140-character dumps, JELL-O gives away pudding to make it feel better. The larger-than-life face on the billboard in Soho likewise smiles or frowns depending on the national mood (as interpreted by Twitter), offering the same pudding pick-me-up for the blues. Our only problem: Why wasn’t the face Bill Cosby’s?  Read More


DOJ To Google: Yeah, We’re Gonna Need to Take Another Look at That AdMeld Deal


Last month, the news that Google wanted to acquire New York-based AdMeld, a platform that helps publishers sell display advertising inventory, for $400 million felt a little like deja-vu. After all, it was another local acquisition, Google’s $3.2 billion purchase of ad exchange company DoubleClick back in 2007, that helped define Google’s dominance in online advertising. Apparently, the Department of Justice felt similar rumblings. Read More


Why Does Google Want AdMeld So Badly? High Frequency Trading for Online Ads

The luxurious accommodation at Google's Carrier Hotel

When Google plunked down a $400 million offer for New York’s AdMeld, a lot of local venture folks were surprised at the price.

“They’ve got some good growth, but nothing that would justify this kind of premium,” was how an ad-tech investor put it Betabeat. To date AdMeld had raised just $30 million.

But a chat yesterday shed some light on the situation. “We are getting a ton of pitches from former Wall Street quants looking to start companies that apply the principles of high frequency trading to the emerging market for real-time bidding across online ads,” said Bryan Birsic, a senior associate at Village Ventures.  Read More


New York Start-up Finds a Way to Help Advertisers Stop Using Cookies. Millions in Venture Capital Follow.

Peer39's Andy Ellenthal

Al Franken’s hard-hitting Location Privacy Protection Act, proposed yesterday, caught some advertisers by surprise, especially the part about informing consumers every time an app wants to share your information with third-party advertisers. But Peer39, a New York-based ad-tech start-up, saw the smoke signals years ago.

The company has been developing technology to sidestep private advocates’ other favorite boogeyman: cookies. Peer39, which started out in Israel, pivoted in 2009 from being an ad network to finding a way to help online advertisers wean themselves off cookies. Instead of following the digital crumbs, it uses semantic analysis to scrutinize the words on every Web page to help advertisers figure out where to place their ads.

The technology works in three ways. Using both natural language and machine learning, it identifies content-rich pages (as opposed to, say, a log-in page), lets advertisers target a specific category (retirees, personal finance), and a “safety feature” that lets Budweiser find alcohol-related pages, and Disney avoid them, reports Xconomy. Peer39 can also figure out when the sentiment behind a word has changed, like when “Joplin” became more associated with the tornado than the singer. In May, Peer39 raised $5.2 million in a Series D round, bringing it’s total funding to $27 million from firms like Caanan Partners, SVB Financial Group, and JP Morgan. Read More


For $400 M. Google Gets AdMeld and a new Conflict of Interest

Google’s dominance in search often makes acquiring new companies difficult. It had to agree to a number of big concessions when acquiring travel data giant ITA.

Now Mike Arrington is reporting that Google has plunked down $400 million for New York based AdMeld, which helps publishers to sell their excess inventory across multiple ad networks.

“It’s going to be tricky,” says ENIAC Venture’s Nihal Mehta. “Because now Google will own the platform for helping publishers find the best ad network, while themselves owning one of the major ad networks.”  Read More