NBC U., Time Warner Back New, 'Build Your Own,' Ad Serving Network

On the heels of Google's deal to acquire online ad serving giant DoubleClick, a group of investors including of two of the largest traditional media companies - NBC Universal and Time Warner - are backing a new, "breakthrough" ad serving technology.

Time Warner Ventures and GE's NBC Universal and GE Media, Communications and Entertainment units were part of a $19 million round of early stage funding for Adify, which has developed what it calls a "Build Your Own Network" approach to ad serving, which is aimed at traditional media companies as well as endemic online marketers.

Adify, founded in 2005 by a group of online ad pioneers from Flycast Communications, one of the original online ad networks, sets up online ad networks by automating management, tracking, reporting, billing, and payment systems. Networks are built around categories ranging from sports to tax season and card games to pet ownership.

By combining a large number of sites into one network, publishers can offer their advertising partners highly targeted communities of readers and a greater volume of ad inventory.

The investment was among the first to come out of a new $250 million fund unveiled Tuesday by GE's media financing and NBC Universal Units, which is aimed at developing media and technology companies that have a high growth potential.

The fund will focus on companies developing technologies, platforms, or business models with a strong strategic fit with NBC Universal in a wide range of areas, including advertising services, wireless, digital content and communities, and international platforms. The GE fund contributed $3 million toward the Adify investment round.

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