Dentsu Goes Real-Time, Backs OpenX

Japanese advertising and media giant Dentsu this morning announced an equity investment in online ad exchange OpenX. Terms of Dentsu’s investment were not disclosed, but the stake, which was made via Dentsu’s Cyber Communications Inc. digital media sales representative division, brings OpenX’s equity funding to date to more than $75 million.
OpenX, which competes with Google, Yahoo’s Right Media, and AppNexus, is a major player enabling the programmatic media trading marketplaces, including real-time bidding. It claims its revenues grew more than 100% in 2012 and 2011, and recently made several new acquisitions (LiftDNA and JumpTime), doubling its employee base to more than 260 employees and opening new offices in New York, London and Tokyo, as well as a new 45,000 square feet headquarters in Los Angeles.
“A key driver of OpenX’s growth has been the global adoption of its pioneering real-time bidding (RTB) exchange, OpenX Market,” the company said in this morning’s announcement, boasting that, “OpenX was one of the first proponents of RTB and is now one of its leading providers: Market now processes more than one million bids per second at peak. Now 95% of the nation’s leading advertisers participate in Market. In 2012, OpenX served nearly four trillion ad transactions, a 300% increase over 2011.”
Dentsu, which is poised to get even bigger with a deal to acquire Aegis Group just weeks away, already had a partnership with OpenX to operate the OpenX Market Japan, the nation’s first fully functional RTB trading marketplace.
“We’re excited to expand our relationship with OpenX and begin our investment in it,” stated Hideyuki Nagasawa, CEO of Dentsu’s CCI unit. “The OpenX Market Japan exchange partnership has grown rapidly and, through it, OpenX has successfully introduced its real-time gidding technology platform and innovative marketplace design to Japan. Given the anticipated growth of RTB in Japan and globally, we believe OpenX is well positioned to become one of the world’s most significant digital advertising companies.”
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