Openads, the London-based maker of open-source software that serves ads to Web publishers, received $5 million in initial funding. Why is this news? Cause the software serves 20,000 plus publishers across 100,000 Web sites from about 30 advertising networks. The start-up follows the open source model of business and seeks to provide more beneficial monetizing models to the Web publishers.
"We think publishers have probably been an underserved element in the value chain," said Saul Klein, venture partner at Index Ventures, an investor in Skype and Last.fm. "A lot of the focus is on advertising agencies but not always on publishers. We think by focusing on publishers we can really help them make more money and improve their effective CPMs.". First Round Capital, Mangrove Capital Partners, and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures also participated in the first round of funding.
Details from the article at RedHerring.
Currently, Google is the dominant player in the online ad space with the acquisition of display ads major DoubleClick and the highly successful AdSense technology. As opined by Scott carp at DMWmedia, Openads may eventually emerge as a competitor to Google, providing a free platform for ad serving that could move control over to the content publishers rather than the ad network agencies. Also, there are speculations that Google itself may be planning to make its ad serving networks freely available.
In fact, Marissa Gluck of media research firm Radar Research in Los Angeles sees Openads as main competition to Google's AdSense. "The difference between the two is that Google AdSense provides an online hosted service offering both ad-serving and ad network functions, while Openads does only ad-serving and then connects its customers to independent ad networks" (as told to Reuters). Will Openads be able to compete against existing ad networks advertising models and bring the focus back to the publishers? Join the discussion.