Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Metamarkets Raises $6 Million To Help Big Web Publishers Corral Big Data

Big web publishers sell lots and lots of ads, and that generates lots and lots of data. It’d be pretty useful to keep track of all that information.

That’s the basic premise behind Metamarkets, a 2-year old startup that just raised another $6 million.

This was an inside round, with most of the folks who invested $2.5 million a year ago re-upping: Roger Ehrenberg’s IA Ventures led the round, and previous investors including Village Ventures, True Ventures, Omnicom vet Jerry Neumann and Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley chipped in.

CEO David Soloff says Metamarkets now has 3 paying clients, and is recording between 3 and 5 billion “events” — ad impressions bought and sold – per day. Metamarkets stores and analyzes all of that data — it’s up to 500 terabytes so far — and the publishers are supposed to use it to help them figure out how much to price their inventory in real-time. It’s also supposed to let them predict what kind of business they’ll be able to do in the future.

Originally, the company thought it would also compile that data to create the equivalent of stock index, which buyers and sellers could use to gauge the state of the ad market.

The idea: If  you were buying inventory from, say, Google, it’d be good to know how the rest of the market was performing. But for now Soloff says they’re busy with the proprietary products they’re selling directly to ad sellers.

Metamarkets will use the money to build out its 14-person engineering team. But the company’s existing workforce is already doing something right: I’m told that Twitter, among other potential acquirers, did some tire-kicking before the company closed this round. Soloff wouldn’t comment on that line of questioning; I’ve asked Twitter but don’t expect to hear much from them, either.


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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