MyBuys Gets $20 Million For E-Commerce; The Google Acquisition Trail; Angels Gettin’ Angry At VC

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MyBuys Hits Funding Motherlode

Who buys MyBuys? Nobody yet. Let’s try – who invests in MyBuys? Why, Rho Ventures, which led a $20 million third round of funding for the provider of consumer recommendation services for online retailers, brands and agencies. Also participating were existing investors Lightspeed Ventures and Palomar Ventures. CEO Robert Cell said the funds will go toward “developing more innovative one-to-one marketing offerings and increase our client-facing team members to capitalize on the vast market opportunities available to us.” Check out the press release here. TechCrunch adds further analysis here.

Google’s Not Like Those Other Big Companies

Even though it purchased 48 companies in 2010 – almost one a week – Google still has an appetite for acquisitions. The Wall Street Journal reports Google is looking mainly at smaller startups, but all the venture capital flooding the tech space is allowing startups to stave off acquisition by sluggish Goliaths, where its rumored innovation comes to a halt in the face of corporate bureaucracy. David Lawee, vp of corp dev at Google, counters saying , “If you’re en entrepreneur and you come to Google, your days as an entrepreneur are not over. Bringing small entrepreneurial teams into Google who have a strong vision for what they want to do has been highly successful for us.” Of course, Google has some other hurdles in further building its empire through M&A – read about them at WSJ.

Angels P.O.’d At VC

Roger Ehrenberg stands up for the pre-emptive/pro-rata right of angel investors (his rights!) when startups ascend to the venture level in a post on his company blog. He thinks an ethical VC would recognize the risk an angel ran in committing capital early on by giving it the option of investing in a subsequent financing round to keep its percentage ownership and avoid dilution, but many VCs simply say, “Tough luck.” Read his view here.

Coming Soon To RMX API

In addition to highlighting the benefits of using the Right Media API – think automation, customization and scale — Alex Mrazek, director of Technical Account Management for Right Media, says that the exchange will build on UI platform features (such as Audience Sharing) introduced last year “by releasing API methods that support the dynamic exchange rate system (DXR) and Advertiser Billing Price, among others.” Read the full blog post here.

Facebook Or Super Bowl Ad?

Online and social media ads can be more valuable than Super Bowl ads? It’s true, it’s true, Scott Kelly, digital marketing manager for Ford, tells eMarketer. When the automobile company launched its 2011 Explorer model on Facebook, “results from third-party auto sites also showed us that traffic and searches for the car model after the Explorer Live event were higher than what they typically see following a Super Bowl ad.” Bet it was a lot cheaper too – read the full interview at eMarketer.

Identifying ‘High Rollers’

Good news for developers that use Facebook Credits as their exclusive virtual currency: the social network is bestowing them with the GetBalance API call, which will enable them to “identify high rollers with a large balance of Credits and dynamically price virtual goods to increase purchase probability or profit margin, improving monetization.” However, with great power comes great responsibility – read more about it at InsideFacebook.

CrowdGather Has Cash, Will Acquire

Although it lost $3.4 million in 2010, online community forums operator CrowdGather plans to use part of the $7.85 million it just raised through selling stock and warrants to fund further acquisitions. Last year CrowdGather acquired digital ad agency Adisn, which offers social-based “relationship targeting” as well as dynamic creative and optimization. Read the full article at PaidContent.

Ivy Adds Data-Driven Event

“From Mad Men to Mad Bots: Advertising in the Digital Age” is the chuckle-worthy name of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School’s conference analyzing how the Internet and information technologies have changed advertising. Speakers and panelists will include business leaders, scholars, activists and regulators – read more about the event here.

Missing the Value of Social Media, SEO

Paid search is overrated while social media and SEO are incredibly undervalued, swears TagMan CEO Paul Cook, and he’s got the stats to prove it. Using data from a large retailer over a six-week period, TagMan discovered “natural search listings on non-brand terms delivered about 14 times more value than they are currently credited with.” To find out what the company found out about social media and paid search, read the full article at eConsultancy.

Consolidation Waiting Game

Triggit CEO Zach Coelius isn’t sure whether 2011 will be the year of major ad tech consolidation, but he hopes the larger incumbent media, advertising, marketing and data companies hold off on scooping up startups: “The longer they give us to learn, build, and take marketshare from the incumbents, the more valuable our companies become.” Read what other industry leaders think about ad tech consolidation at DigiDay Daily.

BBB Pulls Out Enforcement Stick

No more Mr. Nice Council of Better Business Bureaus – powered by Evidon’s technology as the BBB will begin enforcing online behavioral advertising self-regulation. First, it will urge noncompliant companies to get with the system, but if they don’t, names are being sent to the government. “We intend to have a very strong enforcement effort,” says Eugenie Barton, who was recently appointed to lead the online privacy accountability initiative. “Enforcement and accountability are what makes the self regulatory program work or not work.” Read the full article from The Wall Street Journal.

Point of Media Capacity

In the spirit of “peak oil” – the point at which oil production will reach capacity – Brian Monahan of IPG Media Lab contemplates “peak media,” the point at which consumers have maxed out on media consumption. Why bother? “If consumers are living fully mediated lives, shouldn’t we as marketers strive to predict the end state of total mediation?” Monahan argues. However, the full article explains that determining peak media is no easy task.

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