Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Yieldbot Raises $5 Million More to Marry Search Buyers With Display Ads

Web advertising is still primarily about search advertising, which is a problem for many people who don’t work at Google.

Jonathan Mendez thinks this is an opportunity: The CEO of Yieldbot pitches his startup as a way to connect search advertisers with Web publishers who sell display advertising.

Mendez isn’t the only one out there making claims — you could argue that Google’s AdSense does something similar — but at the very least he is getting traction with investors.

He has just raised a $5 million round led by RRE Ventures, which doubles his funding to date; Mendez said his company is now doing a “mid-seven figure” run rate, up from essentially zero in the last year.

Yieldbot’s big-picture pitch is straightforward: It promises to help traditional Web publishers, who are seeing their ad rates decline as more and more display inventory comes on board, by getting them better-performing ads. And it tells search advertisers that it can open up new pockets of inventory for them.

I know genuinely smart people who tell me they have a hard time following the technical parts of Mendez’s story. So I feel a little less bad about not understanding exactly how Yieldbot is supposed to work.

But in essence, Mendez said he can figure out what a Web surfer is trying to find, without seeing an actual search query, by tracking their behavior once they get to a Web site; he also said that unlike ad tech that relies on “retargeting,” his technology doesn’t use third-party cookies to track Web surfers’ behavior before they get to the site.

That claim may be particularly helpful as cookies come under increasing scrutiny.

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I’m a giant vat of creative juices.

— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo