Undertone Buys Upfront Digital Media; Ad Age Covers Fraud

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Undertone Acquires

Ad network Undertone on Wednesday bought Upfront Digital Media for an undisclosed sum. According to the release, Upfront Media, formerly Legolas Media, offers “cross-screen programmatic direct and private exchange capabilities to Undertone.” Read the release. Undertone is aiming for a programmatic story. Meanwhile, Upfront has fewer than 10 employees, according to LinkedIn, including an engineering team with experience working on sell-side tech.

More Fraud

In Ad Age, reporter Alex Kantrowitz unravels a story about fraud in the digital ad ecosystem. He begins, “Some of the globe's most recognizable brands – including Oreo, GlaxoSmithKline, Burger King and Sprint – were bilked out of millions of dollars by a Florida company that used fake websites to skim from the ad-tech ecosystem…”  Read it.

Investing In Personal Data

Krux Digital raised $35 million in funding, the sell-side, digital-data startup announced on Wednesday. The recent funding brings the company's valuation to about $150 million. Investment in DMPs like Krux is on an uptick as the industry aims to collect more information on consumers' online and real-world behaviors. Google, Facebook, Adobe and Oracle control much of this information, and each of these companies has made moves to buy personal-data corporations. Read more via the WSJ.

Twitter Direct

Twitter has made it easy to buy retargeting ads directly rather than go through an Ads API partner. As of Wednesday, “advertisers who have already created a snippet of code (a tag) for conversion tracking can use it for website remarketing,” it said in ablog post. Retargeting through its API partners continues to work as before.

Digital CRM Funds

Indian digital CRM firm Vizury announced that it has raised $16 million – led by Intel Capital – to fuel growth in China, Japan, Latin America, Middle East and Korea, among other priorities. The United States is still a possibility, Vizury CEO Chetan Kulkarni told the Ecommerce Times. Read more. In late 2013, Kulkarni told AdExchanger that he preferred to position Vizury as a digital CRM company rather than an agency or tech company. Read it. Vizury and Merkle would be an interesting global combination.

Alibaba’s Mobile Road Map

Alibaba is acquiring the rest of UCWeb in a cash and stock deal, as the Chinese e-commerce giant aims to add a search engine and an application store to its existing mobile services. Analyst for ICBC International Research You Na estimates that  “UCWeb could also work with Alibaba’s mapping unit to provide location-based services.” Ben Jiang, a spokesman for UCWeb, declined to disclose the pricing of the deal. Read more via Bloomberg. Immediately following the merger Alibaba launched a beta version of its first-ever US marketplace, 11Main.

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