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AppNexus grabs $60M to pursue its White Whale: 'making advertising better'

AppNexus is after its "White Whale"

Above: AppNexus is after its "White Whale"

Image Credit: Shutterstock/Michael Rosskothen

Ad tech company AppNexus continues to roll up financing, announcing today new funding of $60 million — and it might be raising another $40 million soon.

In a post today on the company’s blog, CEO and co-founder Brian O’Kelley — a big Moby Dick fan — said his company is pursuing its “White Whale” of “making the Internet better by making advertising better.” (No note was made, however, of the fact that the White Whale in Moby Dick was only pursued, never caught.)

The New York City-based company, which bills itself as “the world’s largest independent advertising technology company,” now has a valuation of $1.2 billion. The new funding comes on top of $75 million raised last January in its fourth round. Not counting the potential $40 million in additional funding, the company has scooped up slightly more than $200 million since its founding in 2007, from such investors as Microsoft and Technology Crossover Ventures.

Specifically, O’Kelley said the company now has the resources to achieve its goals of eliminating “fraud and malware from online advertising,” making mobile ads work, and hiring the best minds.

In its announcement, AppNexus also said it will use the investment to continue expanding the global team, creating partnerships for enhancing its products, and developing “innovations that will transform digital advertising.” It plans to add hundreds of employees to its current workforce of nearly 600, throughout its 10 offices worldwide.

“We can go out and acquire companies,” O’Kelley told The Wall Street Journal. In June, AppNexus bought ad viewability company Alenty for an undisclosed amount.

“We can hire people,” he added, “but the truth is we can now be more impactful and bold about changing how the industry works.”

That potential for more impact rides on AppNexus’ customizable platform, with which businesses can customize their ad network, trading desk or exchange, as well as on its database of ad buyers and sellers. The platform serves over 30 billion ad impressions every day.

In 2013, the platform posted an ad spend in excess of $1 billion, soaring beyond the $500 million it recorded in 2012. This year, AppNexus expects the spend to exceed $2 billion.

The source of the new funding is simply described as “a large, Boston-based public equity and asset management firm.” A spokesperson for the company told VentureBeat that the firm, “as a rule, doesn’t disclose its name when it invests in private companies.”

More information:

AppNexus, which offers the most powerful, open and customizable advertising technology platform, serves the largest and most innovative buyers and sellers of online advertising, including Microsoft Advertising Exchange, Collective and ... read more »

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