Tag Archive | "advertising"

Is AdGrok Twitter’s next big acquisition?

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adgrokTwitter may be in talks to acquire contextual keyword bidding platform AdGrok for less than $10 million, according to a TechCrunch report.

While AdGrok aims to simplify search engine marketing campaigns, the platform could be adapted and used by Twitter to help monetize promoted and trending tweets.

Purchasing AdGrok could alleviate some of the criticism many have had toward Twitter, which lags far behind the competition in developing a clear advertising strategy for the site.

However, buying AdGrok could also signal that Twitter is ready to start providing statistics and relevant data to its users, which has traditionally been handled by third-party services like Hoot Suit, bit.ly and several others. The company has already started to distance itself from third-party services by apparently developing its own photo sharing feature and improving notification support — so, adding its own statistics wouldn’t be a complete surprise.

The deal has yet to be confirmed by either company, but TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis points out that the last person Twitter corporate development executive Jessica Verrilli followed on Twitter was AdGrok co-founder Argyris Zymnis.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

Is AdGrok Twitter’s next big acquisition?

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


adgrokTwitter may be in talks to acquire contextual keyword bidding platform AdGrok for less than $10 million, according to a TechCrunch report.

While AdGrok aims to simplify search engine marketing campaigns, the platform could be adapted and used by Twitter to help monetize promoted and trending tweets.

Purchasing AdGrok could alleviate some of the criticism many have had toward Twitter, which lags far behind the competition in developing a clear advertising strategy for the site.

However, buying AdGrok could also signal that Twitter is ready to start providing statistics and relevant data to its users, which has traditionally been handled by third-party services like Hoot Suit, bit.ly and several others. The company has already started to distance itself from third-party services by apparently developing its own photo sharing feature and improving notification support — so, adding its own statistics wouldn’t be a complete surprise.

The deal has yet to be confirmed by either company, but TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis points out that the last person Twitter corporate development executive Jessica Verrilli followed on Twitter was AdGrok co-founder Argyris Zymnis.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

Is AdGrok Twitter’s next big acquisition?

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


adgrokTwitter may be in talks to acquire contextual keyword bidding platform AdGrok for less than $10 million, according to a TechCrunch report.

While AdGrok aims to simplify search engine marketing campaigns, the platform could be adapted and used by Twitter to help monetize promoted and trending tweets.

Purchasing AdGrok could alleviate some of the criticism many have had toward Twitter, which lags far behind the competition in developing a clear advertising strategy for the site.

However, buying AdGrok could also signal that Twitter is ready to start providing statistics and relevant data to its users, which has traditionally been handled by third-party services like Hoot Suit, bit.ly and several others. The company has already started to distance itself from third-party services by apparently developing its own photo sharing feature and improving notification support — so, adding its own statistics wouldn’t be a complete surprise.

The deal has yet to be confirmed by either company, but TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis points out that the last person Twitter corporate development executive Jessica Verrilli followed on Twitter was AdGrok co-founder Argyris Zymnis.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

Glam hits $100M revenue, plans IPO as early as this fall

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glam.comGlam Media, the media and advertising company focused on women, has hit a run rate of $100 million in annual revenue and plans to go public as early as this fall, according to a well-placed source who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Glam is said to be in the early process of hiring bankers to help it with the IPO, but won’t file to go public until after the slow summer months are over.

Glam’s model is a straight-forward one: It serves advertising to independent authors in return for a cut of the revenue.  Those authors, who write about everything from fashion to shopping, keep 50 percent of the advertising revenue; Glam keeps the other 50 percent. While Glam signs a contract with bloggers and other writers that essentially gives Glam the right to control the relationship with advertisers, the company doesn’t actually take ownership of the blogs or their content. This contrasts with a model like Sugar, another women-focused media company, that owns much of its content, and recently raised $15 million.

Glam, which now says it is the sixth largest web property in the U.S, with a reach of 90 million monthly uniques, has been growing and hiring aggressively at a time when other large media companies have been in decline. Glam now rivals the giant portal AOL in reach.

Glam was founded about six years ago, when chief executive Samir Arora met the company’s six co-founders and wrote them their first $1 million check. It has had its share of controversy, with many critics saying it’s model is a house of cards, however it has soldiered on and continued growth throughout the recession, according to insiders.

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Legolas Media raises $5M to expand audience marketplace

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Legolas MediaLegolas Media, a next generation audience marketplace, has raised $5 million in a second round of funding.

The mission of Legolas Media is to provide insights to allow for more precise advertisement targeting. The company does this by providing a marketplace where buyers and sellers of digital advertising space can trade audiences similar to how stock investors trade futures. Companies construct audience segments and target them across a number of publishers.

The funding was led by Valhalla Partners and existing investors Greylock Partners and Blumberg Capital also participated in the round. Valhalla’s Kiran Hebbar will be joining the board as a result of the round.

Says Kiran Hebbar, a Partner at Valhalla Partners, “We are very interested in the Legolas team and the opportunity. The idea of a marketplace where brand advertisers can deliver high value campaigns with premium inventory and targetable audience is a winning idea.”

Legolas media, which was founded in 2009, is based in New York.

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Widgetbox becomes “cloud” ad company Flite, raises $12M

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flite burberryIt has been a year of big changes at startup Widgetbox, according to chief executive Will Price, and the company just announced a new name to reflect those changes — it’s now called Flite.

The idea is that Widgetbox is no longer focused on providing tools to build online widgets. Instead, it launched an ad-building product a year ago at the DEMO conference co-produced by VentureBeat, and Price said the ad side has been taking off.

Price called Flite’s technology “cloud-based advertising.” Now, my kneejerk response was to roll my eyes (companies seem to slap the word “cloud” on to any concept nowadays), but Price argued that the there’s a distinction between what Flite offers and your standard displaying advertising. Flite cloud ads don’t just look good, they’re also interactive and include features like the most up-to-date content from advertisers and integration with social networking tools.

“What we’re really talking about are ads that are miniaturized Web pages, with all the functions that you can support,” Price said. “When an ad loads, it’s essentially a blank shell, and it can query an API or other user agents and ask, ‘Do you have anything new for me?’”

Publishing partners like LinkedIn, Forbes, and Yahoo have signed up to use Flite’s technology. One of the company’s big advantages, Price said, is that its customers can create customized units that they can offer to advertisers as something unique. At the same time, with Flite’s technology they don’t have to pay developers for weeks of work to build the ad units from scratch.

Price said one of his customers told him, “If you’re in the media business, if you sell impressions … you’re in a commodity business,” and publishers relying on ad networks and similar services are going to see their rates driven down. Instead, they should offer advertisers “a customized brand experience on our properties that can’t be bought elsewhere.”

In addition to changing its name, Flite also announced today that it has raised $12 million in a third round of funding led by General Catalyst Partners. Previous investors Sequoia Capital, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, and NCD Investors also invested in the new round. The company has now raised $26.5 million.

You can see sample Flite ads here.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

Widgetbox becomes “cloud” ad company Flite, raises $12M

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flite burberryIt has been a year of big changes at startup Widgetbox, according to chief executive Will Price, and the company just announced a new name to reflect those changes — it’s now called Flite.

The idea is that Widgetbox is no longer focused on providing tools to build online widgets. Instead, it launched an ad-building product a year ago at the DEMO conference co-produced by VentureBeat, and Price said the ad side has been taking off.

Price called Flite’s technology “cloud-based advertising.” Now, my kneejerk response was to roll my eyes (companies seem to slap the word “cloud” on to any concept nowadays), but Price argued that the there’s a distinction between what Flite offers and your standard displaying advertising. Flite cloud ads don’t just look good, they’re also interactive and include features like the most up-to-date content from advertisers and integration with social networking tools.

“What we’re really talking about are ads that are miniaturized Web pages, with all the functions that you can support,” Price said. “When an ad loads, it’s essentially a blank shell, and it can query an API or other user agents and ask, ‘Do you have anything new for me?’”

Publishing partners like LinkedIn, Forbes, and Yahoo have signed up to use Flite’s technology. One of the company’s big advantages, Price said, is that its customers can create customized units that they can offer to advertisers as something unique. At the same time, with Flite’s technology they don’t have to pay developers for weeks of work to build the ad units from scratch.

Price said one of his customers told him, “If you’re in the media business, if you sell impressions … you’re in a commodity business,” and publishers relying on ad networks and similar services are going to see their rates driven down. Instead, they should offer advertisers “a customized brand experience on our properties that can’t be bought elsewhere.”

In addition to changing its name, Flite also announced today that it has raised $12 million in a third round of funding led by General Catalyst Partners. Previous investors Sequoia Capital, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, and NCD Investors also invested in the new round. The company has now raised $26.5 million.

You can see sample Flite ads here.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

Widgetbox becomes “cloud” advertising company Flite, raises $12M

Tags: , , , , , , ,


flite burberryIt has been a year of big changes at startup Widgetbox, according to chief executive Will Price, and the company just announced a new name to reflect those changes — it’s now called Flite.

The idea is that Widgetbox is no longer focused on providing tools to build online widgets. Instead, it launched an ad-building product a year ago at the DEMO conference co-produced by VentureBeat, and Price said the ad side has been taking off.

Price called Flite’s technology “cloud-based advertising.” Now, my kneejerk response was to roll my eyes (companiess seem to slap the word “cloud” on to any concept nowadays), but Price argued that the there’s a distinction between what Flite offers and your standard displaying advertising. Flite cloud ads don’t just look good, they’re also interactive and include features like the most up-to-date content from advertisers and integration with social networking tools.

“What we’re really talking about are ads that are miniaturized Web pages, with all the functions that you can support,” Price said. “When an ad loads, it’s essentially a blank shell, and it can query an API or other user agents and ask, ‘Do you have anything new for me?’”

Publishing partners like LinkedIn, Forbes, and Yahoo have signed up to use Flite’s technology. One of the company’s big advantages, Price said, is that its customers can create customized units that they can offer to advertisers as something unique. At the same time, with Flite’s technology they don’t have to pay developers for weeks of work to build the ad units from scratch.

Price said one of his customers told him, “If you’re in the media business, if you sell impressions … you’re in a commodity business,” and publishers relying on ad networks and similar services are going to see their rates driven down. Instead, they should offer advertisers “a customized brand experience on our properties that can’t be bought elsewhere.”

In addition to changing its name, Flite also announced today that it has raised $12 million in a third round of funding led by General Catalyst Partners. Previous investors Sequoia Capital, Hummer Winblad, and NCD Investors also invested in the new round.

You can see sample Flite ads here.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

YouTube buys video production startup Next New Networks

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money-in-tvYouTube confirmed today that it has acquired online video production and distribution company Next New Networks.

Does that mean YouTube is actually going to start producing its own videos? It sounds like the answer is no, according to a company blog post. YouTube says:

At YouTube, we’re focused on building a great technology platform for creators, and so we leave the actual creation of great videos to the people who do it best: our partners. This new group and the addition of the Next New Networks team doesn’t change that. But being a great platform for creators also means helping our partners get the tools and guidance they need to develop higher quality videos and drive bigger audiences to their work.

So instead of asking the Next New Networks team to create videos, YouTube says it will be become a “laboratory for experimentation and innovation” working with “a wide variety of content partners and emerging talent to help them succeed on YouTube.” To achieve this goal, the company is creating a new unit called YouTube Next.

This approach seems pretty logical. YouTube has been notoriously unprofitable for Google for years now (though there are rumblings that that’s finally changing), in part because brands were leery about putting their advertising next to YouTube’s user-generated content. That’s why YouTube wants to bring in more professional, high-quality videos. Partnerships are probably a more effective way to make that happen than creating the content itself.

The acquisition price is less than $100 million, according to The New York Times, which first reported on the deal in December. Next New Networks has raised $26 million from Goldman Sachs, Velocity Interactive, Saban Media Group, Spark Capital, and others.




Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

SEO platform BrightEdge adds tools to become fully “social”

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BrightEdge, a search engine optimization management (SEO) platform, said today it has become the first such platform to become fully social in a bid to help marketers optimize their social media activity, Jim Yu, founder and chief executive, told VentureBeat.

San Mateo, Calif.-based BrightEdge uses tools to help companies increase their prominence on search engines like Google.

The company said it is now integrating social media signals into its platform, giving marketers valuable insights that allow them to optimize their social media activity for SEO return on investment.

As such, BrightEdge will also analyze the content of Tweets and Facebook “likes” and “shares” to pinpoint the exact areas in social media that will boost SEO, and offer specific recommendations to increase activity in these places.

“Search is the starting point for the vast majority of transactions on the Internet,” said Yu. “With the top search result on Google receiving up to 10 times the clicks of the top pay per click ad, it’s critical for marketers to manage SEO and break their brands through increasing clutter on the Web.”

The money at stake is huge. The SEO market opportunity in the U.S. is greater than $40 billion, three to four times larger than paid search which, according to independent technology and market research company Forrester, was close to a $13 billion market in 2009.

Studies have shown that for every click on a paid ad, there are three clicks on natural search results. BrightEdge is now capitalizing on those metrics more cohesively, said Yu.

“This means that [our] social media teams, which have been siloed off from SEO and focused on generating conversations and sentiment, now have a huge opportunity to influence SEO, improve search rankings, and increase revenue coming from organic search,” he added.

The company uses a scalable infrastructure of crawlers that follows the latest “politeness” rules to deal with the challenge of frequent scans on a large number of keywords, pages, backlinks, and sites.

Its closest competitors are customized in-house solutions and similar SEO companies Covario and SearchLight.

BrightEdge has been growing at a rapid pace. In the last few months, the company says it became the first SEO platform with global capabilities; was joined by the former chief architect of Baidu to consult on international platform expansion; and introduced BrandSafe Link Audit to expose disreputable SEO techniques to brand marketers before they end up in the headlines.

Founded in 2007, BrightEdge has so far raised $8.5 million from Battery VenturesAltos Ventures, and Illuminate Ventures.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals