Digital ad platform OpenX secures $20M

The company gets support from SAP Ventures, AOL Ventures, Mitsui & Co., and Presidio Ventures

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
May 31, 2011
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Digital advertising platform OpenX announced that it has raised a Series D round of funding to the tune of $20 million, bringing the company’s total funding to more than $50 million. The round was led by SAP Ventures, with help from AOL Ventures, Mitsui & Co. Global Investment, Inc., and Presidio Ventures, the investment arm of Sumitomo Corporation.

Launched in 2006, OpenX offers both an ad server and an ad exchange so that publishers and advertisers both walk away with more bang for their buck. The real-time auction allows advertisers to bid on ad impressions as ad requests come in, which means publishers get the most money for their ads, while advertisers are free to set their own price ranges and can purchase the exact ad impressions that they want, when they want them. Additionally, OpenX offers price protection for publishers, which allows publishers to set a minimum price for their ads.

Advertisers can also use geographic or domain targeting, or they can retarget previous Web visitors. And OpenX’s analytics allow publishers to see which of their ads have been purchased, while advertisers can see where their ads are being shown and get delivery and performance data.

The OpenX marketplace reaches some 400 million users worldwide, 150 million of which are in the United States.

“We think the OpenX real-time revenue serving technology platform has enormous potential to be a major force in online advertising,” said Nino Marakovic, managing director of SAP Ventures, in a statement. “We see digital advertising rapidly becoming an integral part of the enterprise ecosystem as it becomes more and more core to businesses. We believe that OpenX will become an industry-defining platform in this rapidly growing sector. In addition to our investment, we also plan to leverage our relationships to help OpenX expand its reach.”

OpenX’s clients include Southwest Airlines, Business Insider, and Groupon. Prior to setting up an OpenX account, Groupon had a manual process for scheduling ads in their daily emails to subscribers, which was a monstrous task that involved three staffers. The company’s hyper-growth certainly didn’t help matters. Groupon’s Creative Manager Adam Rubin said that once the company switched over to OpenX, the process of scheduling ads for the daily emails went from a three-person task to a one-person task overnight.

The company plans to use the new funds to drive adoption and international expansion.


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