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BizReport : Advertising archives : February 10, 2014

Funding rounds underline interest in online ad potential

This week two funding rounds are underlining the on-going interest in the online ad space. Here are the details.

by Kristina Knight

First Rocketrip has landed $2.6 million in Series A funding. Rocketrip's platform offers online brands an assist in the travel category. Through the platform employers can create a kind of rewards system for employees cost-saving actions.

"Legacy corporate travel systems that are designed to streamline the travel process and enforce policy, in fact create friction with employees and drive non-compliance in today's $160 billion-a-year US business travel industry. As a result, travelers often 'go rogue' as the industry calls it, and book travel outside of those systems," says Dan Ruch, Founder & CEO of Rocketrip. "Rocketrip is optimized for employees that are allowed to book travel using their website or vendor of choice, motivating cost sensitivity by rewarding employees with a percentage of the savings they generate. However, for companies with a more complex travel program and a mandated booking channel, Rocketrip can function in parallel with existing systems by motivating similar cost saving behavior."

Early pilot tests show the platform helped seven customers save about $20,000 over 100 trips; on average that represents a 25% reduction of travel costs.

iSocket's funding news is for $5 million; iSocket offers direct and sales automation for online brands.

"Today, the majority of display, mobile and video advertising spend goes to premium inventory that is sold directly, at guaranteed fixed prices," says Rachel Lam, SVP and Group Managing Director, Time Warner Investments, a funding round partner. "As one of the first innovators in this premium, direct-sold segment, iSocket is uniquely positioned to help advertisers and publishers automate this process. We are thrilled to be working with this talented team, and expect this investment to give us valuable insight into the fast-moving programmatic direct market."

In addition to the funding news iSocket is launching a new ad buying tool called iSocket for Advertisers. Through the new platform ad agencies and media planners can browse the iSocket publisher catalog to find reserve inventory.

Tags: advertising, advertising tools, iSocket, online advertising, Rocketrip, SMB tools

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