Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Sales Talks Fell Through, So Ad Exchange AdBrite Shuts Down

Advertising exchange AdBrite is shutting down, after an attempt to find a buyer for the company failed.

CEO Hardeep Bindra is telling partners that the company, which has 26 employees, will close by the end of the month, and is selling off its assets. In an interview, Bindra says he had been trying to sell off the entire company, but sales talks “unfortunately fell through a couple weeks ago.”

AdBrite raised a reported $40 million since 2004, much of it from Sequoia Capital. It was best known for many years as the creation of Philip Kaplan, who had achieved notoriety during the end of the Web 1.0 boom for his FuckedCompany site. For years the company described itself as the “largest independent ad exchange, rivaling Google and Yahoo.”

But that kind of designation doesn’t mean a whole lot right now, and the ad exchange market is dominated by a handful of large players (you can also add newcomer AppNexus to the mix, as well as Facebook’s newly hatched FBX). Bindra, who joined AdBrite last April after working on Yahoo’s ad exchange, says his marching orders at the time were to set the company up for a sale.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald