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El Toro, the fine-grain IP targeting ad startup that may send a shiver down Google’s spine

There isn’t an account man­ag­er in exis­tence who doesn’t want the max­i­mum effi­ca­cy for the agency’s ad cam­paigns. And Ken­tucky-based start­up El Toro thinks it can deliv­er this goal so well it may send shiv­ers down the giant ver­te­brae of big beasts like Google and Microsoft.


It’s tak­ing IP tar­get­ing to an unprece­dent­ed­ly fine grain lev­el by enabling adver­tis­ers to tar­get not mere­ly regions, not just clus­ters of homes, but indi­vid­ual homes. No one else seems to be doing this, which should whet the appetites of those results-focused account man­agers we just mentioned.

El Toro launched in July last year after rais­ing $400,000 from friends and fam­i­ly. Eight months lat­er, it’s not only cash flow pos­i­tive but it’s also gar­ner­ing rave reviews from far and wide. Account man­agers who wor­ry about the pri­va­cy impli­ca­tions of El Toro’s gran­u­lar tar­get­ing tech­nol­o­gy might be inter­est­ed to know that the start­up began life as a fraud buster for inter­net transactions.

CEO Sta­cy Grig­gs had lost hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars to inter­net ad fraud in the past, a dev­as­tat­ing expe­ri­ence he and his team resolved to do some­thing about. But the tech­nol­o­gy his team start­ed devel­op­ing began to sug­gest greater poten­tial than fraud bust­ing alone.

As Grig­gs puts it:

“The Inter­net is fueled by adver­tis­ing, with­out bil­lions of dol­lars in ad rev­enue many of the free tools we take for grant­ed today would no longer exist. Our the­sis was that by elim­i­nat­ing fraud and waste from the sys­tem we could dra­mat­i­cal­ly increase the effi­ca­cy of online adver­tis­ing and build a great com­pa­ny along the way.”

Increas­ing the effi­ca­cy of online ads

El Toro can map indi­vid­ual IP address­es to phys­i­cal address­es. With a list of phys­i­cal address­es, Grig­gs explains, his team can “place inter­net adver­tise­ments on the com­put­ers at those phys­i­cal address­es based sole­ly on a mail­ing address.”

Unlike the com­pe­ti­tion, El Toro doesn’t use cook­ies; it prefers offline empir­i­cal data. Users, which cur­rent­ly include major con­sumer brands, the auto indus­try and uni­ver­si­ties, can man­age their accounts with ease via El Toro’s demand side plat­form and cloud-based infrastructure.

And Grig­gs is bull­ish about the risk of Google and Microsoft copy­ing; he thinks they should be wor­ried that a lit­tle start­up like El Toro can dis­rupt their mar­ket. Maybe he’s got a point.

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