DataXu CEO Baker On New Funds And Demand-Side Platform Services Layer

DataXuDemand-side platform, DataXu, announced today that it raised $11 million in a Series B financing led by VC firm, Menlo Ventures. Read the release.

DataXu CEO Mike Baker discussed the raise and the services layer with DataXu’s offering. How long did it to take to raise this round?  Is the DSP world resonating with venture capital firms?

MB: While DSPs are garnering a fair amount of buzz in the investment community, at the end of the day, seasoned investors know how to peel back the layers and focus on the fundamentals. During our conversations, the common theme we heard was that a proven leadership team — one that has delivered value to shareholders in the past — is the #1 attribute that they look for. Differentiated technology and real customer successes are critical, too. No amount of buzz can compensate for weakness in any of these areas.

In the release, it’s stated that new funds will be used “to fund new product development, sales and marketing, and international expansion.”  Can you shed any more light here?

We are actively working on new feature and service extensions for our current DSP platform, as well as distinct, new offerings. I’d rather not divulge too much yet, but in our company’s vision, DSP solutions are one component in a broader long-term strategy.

We currently work with 4 of the top 6 agency holding companies, as well as top global brands who have an international footprint. In order to serve these clients (and new ones) in the best way possible, having a global presence is a must.

Please discuss the DataXu services layer. How much of the campaign management is done by DataXu and how much is on the client? How do you see this evolving?

We offer our clients two solutions, in order to meet a range of needs. For those who put a premium on media transparency and want to manage certain aspects of their campaigns themselves, we offer a platform solution. For those who prefer to have us optimize their entire media buy and campaign, we offer a turnkey solution, which I feel is a requirement in a nascent market such as ours. Clients appreciate our flexibility, and if their needs evolve down the road, we would consider other service models, too.

By John Ebbert

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