DataXu Launches Media-Buying Platform

Mike Baker of DataXu

Startup DataXu has formally launched its real-time-bidding platform allowing agencies and advertisers to optimize ad buys across ad exchanges and ad networks.

The new ad system is designed as a buy-side counterpart to platforms from companies like the Rubicon Project, PubMatic and AdMeld, which help publishers manage selling inventory across multiple ad networks.

The goal is to make display ad buys more efficient by factoring in pricing information, conversion rates, and other user data to determine which inventory best matches available advertising.

"So you take all that data generated by impressions, clicks and conversions and create rules, or algorithms, based on all that information about which sites, which consumers and which ad creatives are the best combination to drive sales," said Mike Baker, founder and CEO of Boston-based DataXu.

The company also promises that its technology will allow that data-crunching to occur in real-time as its platform processes hundreds of thousands of "ad decisions" a second. Its bid management system also connects to ad exchanges including AdMeld, AppNexus, PubMatic, Right Media, Yahoo and the forthcoming Google Ad Exchange.

DataXu has signed on Havas Digital as its first major client. "We selected DataXu's technology platform for its ability to measure, analyze and optimize campaigns on an impression-level, real-time basis on a global scale," said Anthony Rhind, co-CEO of Havas Digital. "By leveraging this technology, we believe we can bring a new level of transparency, accountability and performance to our client's digital campaigns."

Media-buying platforms from companies like DataXu, MediaMath and Traffiq are capitalizing on the broader trend of agencies increasingly developing their own ad planning and buying systems to avoid being displaced by online ad networks and exchanges.

Baker pointed out that its platform allows advertisers and media buyers to use prior campaign data to place ads rather than having to rely only on third-party data from publishers or ad networks. "Sellers will always optimize for their own profits. A buyer is trying to reduce the cost of acquisitions. The buyer has lots of information that can be used to intelligently target ads," he said.

Started in 2007, DataXu has raised $6 million in a first-round venture funding from Atlas Venture and Flybridge Capital Partners. It was also named a TechCrunch 50 finalist this year.

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