Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

More Money for Ad Tech: Rubicon Project Raises $9 Million

Start-ups whose business plans are based on selling advertising are having a very hard time raising money. But start-ups that want to make money by helping other people sell ads? That’s another story.

Today’s example: Rubicon Project, a Los Angeles-based advertising-optimization start-up, has raised a $9 million C round led by Peacock Equity, the joint venture co-owned by GE Capital and GE’s (GE) NBC Universal. This follows a $13 million equity and debt round the company raised just a few months ago. Rubicon has raised $45 million since its 2007 launch.

CEO Frank Addante, whose company helps publishers manage their relationships with advertising networks, says he’ll use the new cash to acquire other ad-tech start-ups. Earlier this month, Rubicon picked up Others Online, a behavioral targeting company.

Keeping a close eye on all of this activity: Google (GOOG), Yahoo (YHOO) and Microsoft (MSFT), all of which are reportedly looking at ad-tech acquisitions themselves.


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google