MediaCrossing Raises $6 Million, Billed As New Ad, Agency Trading Partner

MediaCrossing -- the latest entrant into the increasingly expansive programmatic ad-buying space -- just raised $6 million in Series A equity financing. Led by Bill Lederer -- former CEO of e-commerce startup, and before that an executive at WPP’s Kantar -- MediaCrossing doesn’t consider itself to be an ad exchange, a demand-side platform (DSP), or an ad network.
Rather, the Stamford, Conn.-based startup purports to be a new type of trading partner for advertisers, agencies, and publishers.
In Wall Street terms, Lederer likens MediaCrossing’s role in the new advertising ecosystem to that of a “market maker” -- which, along with connecting buyers and sellers, will be in a position to buy ad inventory on their behalf -- and thus assume a share of the risk.
The company “bears risk as a principal on behalf of its clients where appropriate,” Lederer explained on Friday.
More broadly, “MediaCrossing represents the next generation of media trading … where Madison Avenue client focus, media savvy and marketing science meets Wall Street innovation and trading best practices,” Lederer told Online Media Daily.
“We are staffed with leading Mad Avenue and Wall Street talent and backed by some of the world's most successful electronic trading innovators,” Lederer added. Perhaps the most talented among them is Ted Yang, MediaCrossing’s CTO and former Wall Street senior technologist.
All told, MediaCrossing has 16 full-time employees, and already claims 18 clients.
Key investors include Jerry Putnam, former vice chairman, president and Co-COO of the NYSE Group, along with Daniel Tierney and Steve Schuler -- founders of Global Electronic Trading Co., an electronic market-making and high-frequency trading firm, which recently merged with Knight Capital Group to form KCG Holdings.
Now, programmatic ad buying and selling is big business. The real-time bidding marketplace -- one subset of programmatic (though the terms are often used interchangeably) -- will exceed $3.3 billion, this year, eMarketer predicts.

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