Tumri Adds CEO To Focus On Taking Technology To Market

A start-up named Tumri is betting its success this year on the strength of its new CEO and its ad-serving products, which mix behavior technology with dynamic rich media.

For the past year, Mountain View, Calif.-based Tumri has been developing an ad-targeting platform that integrates the branding power of display ads with performance text-based behaviorally placed ads. Ad units can be geared to a particular product message, a call to action, or a branding message. They can also combine a brand banner as part of a product ad--all based on who's going to be seeing them.

The company's founder, Hari Menon, made room last week for a new CEO and president, Calvin Lui, who has been brought in to take Tumri technology to market.

"Now that Tumri's ready for prime time, I've been brought on to productize the technology, which allows for extreme levels of targeting," Lui said. "That's where the demand is right now. Advertisers want performance along with enhancing the engagement layers."

Lui, who most recently served as the chief operating officer of Web performance marketing company Connexus, is well aware of the stiff competition that Tumri faces.

"We're going after the same ad dollars as Google with Google Gadget and Yahoo with its SmartAds program," Lui admitted. That said: "Anybody in the market can be a competitor and a partner."

In the next several weeks, Tumri will announce partnerships with several Fortune 500 companies in sectors such as consumer electronics, retail, and travel, according to Lui.

Tumri has already worked with some leading retailers--including Wal-Mart, shoe shop Zappos, Macy's and Sears--to develop widget storefronts dubbed AdPods, which Web publishers can carry on their sites.

Menon will remain on the board of directors and shift his responsibilities to chief strategy officer.

Tumri is backed by firms, including Lehman Brothers Venture Partners, Shasta Ventures and Accel Partners.

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