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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik