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BizReport : Advertising archives : June 17, 2011

Online ad spending up, venture capitalists look for next big thing

With Q1 numbers in and showing strong growth in online advertising, and as consumers continue to log on and stay online longer, venture capitalists are taking more interest in the online space. This week, funding rounds have been announced for players in online advertising and targeting as well as the hot gaming segment.

by Kristina Knight

First, ROBLOX, a kid's gaming hub, has announced a $4 million venture capital round after showing a 75% increase in revenue (Year over Year). Nearly 6 million kids are logging on to play each month, turning in 650 million page views. The site allows players to become 'architects' of the games they play - the site teaches them software coding and physics along with other things as they play the multi-player 3-D games. The platform sells player subscriptions, offers in-game virtual currency, pre-paid retail cards and advertising.

Next up in a funding round for TellApart, which has secured $13 million in a Series B funding round. The TellApart platform offers etailers Amazon-type services to re-engage prospective shoppers. According to company information, clients have seen a 3% to 5% increase in revenue after utilizing TellApart's retargeting platform; customer data is becoming more important as marketers turn from demographic or geographic targeting to retargeting consumers based on past transactions, abandoned shopping carts or other behavioral data.

"We believe that the next big opportunity in e-commerce is around deep customer analytics," said Ajay Agarwal, managing director at Bain Capital Ventures. "TellApart's combination of a world class founding team, rich technology platform and strong momentum positions them well to be the leader in this space. After speaking to dozens of online retailers big and small, we are confident that TellApart is the company to beat."

Also, Magnetic, announcing a round of $4 million in venture funding, to back its retargeting platform. Magnetic is working with both ad agencies and networks on retargeting options for brands and advertisers; the funding round brings their total investments to $5.25 million. Magnetic's platform uses consumer intent, based on search analytics, to retarget ads to in-market consumers.

And finally, Google's acquisition of Admeld gives them more in the way of ad optimization, although the company says they aren't integrating their two hubs. Admeld's platform gives marketers the ability to pull data from various ad networks and exchanges to see what is and what isn't connecting in the ad space. Even without an integration, the addition of Admeld to the Google infrastructure should give marketers using Google's existing services more options in their ad buys.

Tags: ad spend, Admeld, advertising platforms, Google, Magnetic, online advertising, ROBLOX, TellApart

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