Despite ad downturn, Rubicon seeks to acquire

Bambi Francisco Roizen · October 13, 2008 · Short URL:

Frank Addante's ad company is 'potentially rolling up companies'

So far in October, several advertising firms, including Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest, WPP Group's Landor, Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day announced layoffs. The advertising industry typically gets hit hard during economic downturns. Yet despite downsizing at large ad agencies, one emerging startup advertising technology company is seeking to bring more people in through acquisitions. 

"We think there’s an opportunity to go and create the 800 pound gorilla advertising technology company,"  said Frank Addante, founder and CEO of Rubicon Project, an advertising network optimization company. Essentially, Rubicon allows publishers to manage their relationships with multiple advertising networks, such as Revenue Science,, and 24/7. Publishers like to work with Rubicon because they can increase their advertising revenue by optimizing across multiple ad networks. Ad networks like to work with Rubicon because they can place their ads in front of a total of 220 million unique visitors, which is currently Rubicon's reach.  

"That’s why we raised $22 million," he added. "We want to be that market leader."

One way to be the market leader is by improving the data Rubicon provides its advertising clients. To that end, Rubicon is considering "potentially rolling up companies," said Frank, in this Vator Talks segment, in which Ezra Roizen and I interview the guest. Among the companies he's interested in buying are behavioral targeting and semantic technology companies.

Frank, who's taken a company (L90) public and sold two companies, isn't one to shy from big exits and big goals. By May 2009, which is Rubicon's second anniversary, Frank expectcs Rubicon to have 10,000 customers (up from 1200 today), to quadruple its publisher customers' revenue (publishers today see a 30% to 300% lift in revenue), and to serve 10 billion impressions a day vs. 10 billion a month today.

Frank also talks about how Rubicon is different from competitor Pubmatic, the impact the economic downturn is having on his advertising partners and publisher clients, and when Rubicon plans to get into video advertising.



Image Description

Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

All author posts

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Interviews" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs

Rubicon Project


Joined Vator on

the Rubicon Project is a group of industry-experienced, aggressive and passionate renegades dedicated to bringing a new level of efficiency to the fragmented Internet advertising space. As of January 2008, the company has raised $21 million in funding.

The founders of the Rubicon Project shook up the online advertising industry in 1998 when they created L90/adMonitor, one of the most successful Internet advertising platforms that served over 3,000 of the web’s most recognized sites, reaching 65% of the Internet population before DoubleClick acquired it.


$27 Billion was spent advertising online in 2007, yet it’s still too hard for websites to sell their ad space online. While Internet advertising is an explosive market, it is an incredibly inefficient one with advertisers spending money with 300+ disparate advertising networks worldwide (e.g. Google AdSense, Yahoo! Publisher Network, HispanoClick and Adtegrity). the Rubicon Project’s web-based, self-serve solution gives any size website the most complete access to the total available advertising market and its smart matching technology does all the work to perfectly match each ad impression with the optimal money-making opportunity. the Rubicon Project is the new online advertising standard that makes it effortless for websites to generate the mad cash they've always dreamed of. And, it’s free to join.



Joined Vator on

PubMatic is focused on serving the needs of publishers by providing an industry leading platform that allows publishers to maximize their revenue while simultaneously reducing complexity.

Being a publisher is difficult these days. On the one hand, publishers want to focus on developing rich content and sustaining a user community based on common interest. On the other hand, they’re forced to spend ever more time and energy running the “business” of being a publisher.
What ad style should a publisher use? Publishers have to figure out what’s the best color combination, size, ad type, and other parameters that best appeal to their users. There are over a billion different combinations for publishers to consider.

How can a publisher manage multiple ad tags? Each ad network and ad style requires a unique set of ad tags that publishers have to maintain and manage.
Which ad networks should a publisher use? There are several hundred significant ad networks operating around the world today, with that number growing every week.
How does a publisher get consistent reports across ad networks? Each ad network is only able to provide reporting visibility for a subset of the publisher’s ads, but yet publishers need the ability to view their ad inventory performance holistically. Learn more about PubMatic for publishers.

At the same time, ad networks are finding challenges of their own.
It’s difficult to reach new publishers. Most publishers already have ad tags on their web site, and they’re reluctant to change them for a new ad network.
Signing up new publishers is inefficient. Signing up new publishers typically involves lots of emailing or faxing back and forth, requiring lots of staff time and slowing the growth of the ad network.
PubMatic was founded in 2006 and is based in the Bay Area, California and Pune and Mumbai, India. PubMatic is backed by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Helion Ventures.



Joined Vator on

appssavvy is a mobile advertising technology company with the mission of rethinking the delivery and reception of advertising. Focused on activity, appssavvy redefines how brands reach consumers, creates native ad experiences for publishers, and most importantly, improves advertising through data and insights about real-time behavior.



Ezra Roizen

Joined Vator on

Advisor-to and commenter-on emerging ventures

Frank Addante

Joined Vator on