“In the online advertising industry there is never a dull moment”, told me Assaf Roth the founder of IgnitAd. Indeed, this early stage startup has a lot going on. On Wednesday this week, the company announced a its first round of funding of $2 million, led by DFJ Tamir Fishman Ventures and JVP Media Labs. IgnitAd operates a self-service ad optimization solution for display advertising buyers, and has now publicly launched its Bid Optimization Management™, a predictive bidding technology that helps publishers increase their ad revenue by identifying the ad sources which will pay the most for each available ad unit.
The new bid management system enables publishers to auction available ad space on their sites across several ad exchanges, ad networks and other demand-side partners. In a nutshell, it is a marketplace which brings together buyers and sellers of display advertising and operates almost as a ‘hedge fund’ of available ad inventory and ad spend budget.
What differentiates ignitAd’s ad optimization solution from others in the online advertising market is its Bid Optimization Management technology, which is based on a proprietary predictive analysis and advanced bidding algorithms. By forecasting demand patterns at various price points using advanced predictive analysis algorithms, ignitAd’s Bid Optimization Management technology can proactively predict the highest paying advertising source for each impression, thereby achieving optimal revenue for the publisher.
IgnitAd’s system provides transparency to the advertiser, by showing him the web page on which the ad was placed (as do most of the large display advertising firms including Google). This could potentially save additional costs on Ad verification networks such as DoubleVerify, which currently charge a fee for this service.
“With the greatest opportunities in display advertising available on a broad range of publishers, ignitAd’s Bid Optimization Management and predictive analysis technology facilitates ad price optimization for each individual publisher, enabling us to turn any publisher into a premium publisher,” said
VC Cafe had a chance to ask ignitAd ‘s CEO and co-founder Assaf Roth a few questions. Prior to founding IgnitAd, Assaf co-founded Celebros, provider of search technology for ecommerce stores, and spent seven years in the company holding the CEO and CFO roles.
VC Cafe: What’s better in your opinion, to appear on the first ad slot with less impressions, or in a lower rank with more impressions? does it matter?
Assaf Roth: In display advertising (as opposed to search results, where the answer might be different), it really depends on the online publisher and the kind of content next to which the ad runs. What ignitAd’s proprietary Bid Optimization Management™ technology does is enable a publisher to select the ad source which generates the greatest revenue by proactively predicting the highest paying ad source for each impression based on a forecast of demand patterns at various price points using advanced predictive analysis algorithms.
VC Cafe: What’s the first tip you would give to a company that is looking to start advertising online?
Assaf Roth: As a company providing ad yield optimization for online publishers, we analyze lots of data from lots of publishers. From my perspective, I’d recommend someone new to online advertising to begin by clearly defining the objectives for their advertising. A branding campaign will look and act very differently from a campaign designed to generate sales. In addition, it’s important to test all alternatives and then establish ad performance benchmarks by which performance can be measured. Another important point for advertisers to consider is transparency. An online advertiser should pursue ad programs where they know exactly on what web page their ads run. At ignitAd, we enable our publishers to provide complete transparency to their ad sources, and I think advertisers should demand this level of transparency.
VC Cafe: There’s many new technologies popping up in advertising. Can you name a few that caught your attention? Any Israeli startups?
Assaf Roth: No doubt, in the online advertising industry there is never a dull moment. I always like meeting entrepreneurs, learn about their businesses, and share with them ideas. Though already an established company, Kontera is a company in this space which I always gave attention to as they succeeded in combining the typical Israeli innovation with a professional management and execution.
The main challenge I see for IgnitAd is penetrating an already crowded market and acquiring a critical mass of publishers. They’ve already secured large Israeli owned publishing sites such as Articles Base and Bukisa, but their real test would be the ability to attract marquee publishers in a ‘manual’ process.
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