DataXu CEO Mike Baker on the Online Advertising Startup’s Move Into Mobile and Video
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tackling different pieces of the digital advertising optimization puzzle. “We’re saying you don’t need to work with 10 startups—our demand-side product is scaling and getting lots of traction,” Baker says. “Customers want one really good vendor.”
He declined to give any details about the company’s financials, but said it is in “hyper growth” mode, with strong revenue increases from month to month. He also said it is “growing faster than any company that as an entrepreneur I’ve been associated with building.”
What is driving all this growth in the industry? Presumably the migration of advertising from traditional media like TV, radio, and print to always-on digital media that can reach consumers wherever and whenever they’re online via laptop, tablet, or smartphone. And although some experts—including Nick Hanauer, the founder of Avenue A Media, which became digital advertising giant aQuantive, now part of Microsoft—have said the online advertising ecosystem is already baked and has little room for new approaches, clearly DataXu would disagree.
Baker acknowledges that the mechanics of serving digital ads and measuring their performance is already solved. “What is unsolved is understanding consumer behavior, especially on a real-time basis,” he says. Which is exactly what DataXu is trying to do now, across all types of media platforms. “As an entrepreneur, I’m licking my chops,” he says.
DataXu was founded in 2007 around technology originally developed by aerospace engineers at MIT. The company’s investors include Atlas Venture, Flybridge Capital Partners, and Menlo Ventures. As of earlier this month, the firm had just over 50 employees and was in the process of moving into new office space on Summer Street near Boston’s Seaport District.
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