(Update: We’ve heard the investor in Adteractive is General Atlantic Partners, the same group that reportedly was interested initially in DoubleClick. A representative declined comment. Here is the story running in Tuesday’s merc about the online ad fervor.)
Lots of action today, including DoubleClick and Google. But first, Deal Flow has word of what looks to be the biggest venture financing in the online advertising sector to date:
Adteractive, the five-year old private San Francisco company has nearly finished raising more than $100 million, DF’s Justin Hibbard reports, though he doesn’t specify the investors.
Also today, San Francisco buyout firm Hellman & Friedman agreed to acquire the Internet advertising company, DoubleClick for $1.1 billion. DoubleClick has struggled precisely because of new, more robust competitors.
Then there’s Google’s news today…
…(as we report here) that it will offer more graphical, eye-catching ads.
Meanwhile, search engine expert John Battelle makes some notable comments to the NYT. He suggests Google’s new offering is a sign that it has wandered from its roots as a search engine company seeking mainly to improve search results. As a public company, it is also increasingly focused on boosting revenue through ads: “This drives the nail into the coffin of the idea that Google is a search business,” Battelle told the Times.
And thus, Google can no longer claim it is different from other companies: “The core philosophy of Google’s advertising business is that these ads are actually valuable and useful to users: look for Chevy trucks and get Chevy truck ads,” he said. “Now we are in another place. It’s more about branding and more about advertising other things than what you are looking for, and, cynically, it may be about being a public company that needs revenue growth.”