Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

More Money for “Real Time” Ad Tech: AppNexus Raises $5 Million

exchangeMore money for ad technology: AppNexus, an ad-buying “platform,” has raised $5 million in a round led by Kodiak Venture Partners, along with Venrock and First Round Capital. The company is one of many trying to take advantage of “real-time” bidding for Web display ad inventory.

The funding is an “inside round”–only existing investors participated in the funding–which sometimes, but not always, raises a red flag. In this case, AppNexus says the funding is also an “up round”–its existing investors now think the start-up is worth more than they did the last time they bought in–but didn’t disclose a valuation.

There’s also a bit of fuzziness, still, about what exactly AppNexus does. The company says it provides a “gateway” to ad buyers who want access to ad exchanges like the ones operated by Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO)–Microsoft (MSFT) will launch its exchange next year–though many industry types think that AppNexus is itself an ad exchange.

The company certainly boasts lots of ad exchange bona fides. Co-founders Brian O’Kelley and Mike Nolet are both veterans of Right Media, the ad exchange Yahoo bought in 2007. And in September, the company brought on Michael Rubenstein, who had been running Google’s exchange.

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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