Audience management company, Demdex, announced that it has raised $6 million in Series A financing in a round led by Shasta Ventures and also inclusive of existing investors First Round Capital and Genacast Ventures. Read the release.
CEO Randy Nicolau discussed the new financing and the company's plans.
AdExchanger.com: From your perspective, what is the funding environment like today for ad tech companies?
RN: The funding environment reminds me of early 2007 (i.e. pre-crash). Ad tech companies who can clearly define and differentiate their product will find a very receptive audience in the VC community. Good companies are seeing a lot of competition from VCs and valuations are the highest they've been in nearly two years.
I prefer partnering with proven operators who have become successful investors rather than investors who lack relevant operating experience. Our seed-stage investors, First Round Capital and Genacast Ventures, have deep executive-level operational experience at companies like eBay and Tacoda, and I've found their impact to be instrumental in shaping Demdex's strategy. The folks at Shasta Ventures bring operational experience from companies Walmart.com and Yahoo which I believe will be critical as Demdex continues to define this rapidly evolving landscape.
Can you expand on what may be some low-hanging ideas that you want to address with this funding beyond (from the release) "aggressively expand Demdex's market-leading audience management capabilities"?
Right now we simply plan to hire exceptional talent. I can't say much more than that.
Everyone is saying they have audience management capabilities. How does Demdex differentiate itself in its positioning?
Most companies claiming this expertise are merely offering "Cookie Management" and they are typically combining it with another service/technology like ad serving or network optimization. Demdex uses technology to make audience data predictable across each online channel rather than to simply map pixels to cookies. This gives the data consistency which is critical as the market evolves towards more real-time bidding. Additionally, being 100% focused on "just" audience management allows us to effectively partner with all the technology providers in the ad tech space without competing with them, thus giving our customers total flexibility with respect to where they can "action" their data.
By John Ebbert