Seeking to become a major contender in the behavioral ad serving market, and to compete with the likes of Google and Yahoo!, Adknowledge Inc. has recently raised $48 million in capital. The company, founded in 2003, and profitable since 2004, works directly with over 400 content providers and over 20,000 advertisers to create and place contextually targeted ads in emails and web pages.
Largely responsible for raising the new capital is the company’s president, Brett Brewer, who recently left Intermix Media, Inc.—the parent company of Myspace.com—after its $580 million sale to News Corp. Brewer hopes to shift focus away from search in Adknowledge’s behavioral targeting strategy. “Most advertisers start out advertising in the search channel,” said Brewer in a press statement. “Now search engines are getting competitive, their margins are very slim … people are looking for other ways to get clicks.”
Adknowledge acts as a middleman for small- and medium-sized businesses who want to eliminate the need for graphic designers and media buyers in their ad spending. They use a pay-per-click model which can cost anywhere between 30 cents and $7 per click.
The sole investor in Adknowledge’s Series A round is Technology Crossover Ventures, a late-stage firm with nearly $5 billion under management. Adknowledge was attracted to the venture capital firm because of its strong online portfolio, holding stakes in such popular destinations as Expedia, eHarmony, Fandango, and Netflix.