There’s no getting away from it: if you hold media jobs in online advertising agencies, whether you’re an art director or an account manager, you need access to good metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns. One sign that investors are smiling benevolently at companies capable of this fete is the recent cash injection secured by the “post-ad-tech” company Turn, which has just raised a princely $80m in Series E funding, bringing its total investment to a walloping $135m.
Growing and growing
Launched in 2004 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, Turn now has offices in San Francisco, Chicago Los Angeles and New York (and that’s not mentioning its offices in Brazil, Japan, London and Amsterdam). Turn’s forte resides in its dual platforms – one demand-side and the other data management – which pull the following rabbits out of their respective hats. The demand-side product acts as a single point of reference for ad buyers to manage multiple data sources and ad exchanges, while its data management sibling lets those buyers leverage their data to target the audiences they want to reach. All in real-time, of course.
Intrigued art directors and account managers might want to know that Turn was EBITDA positive in 2013, seeing positive income before taxation and amortization commitments and, with its 350 employees, is now delivering over 1.5 trillion ads every month. With success like that, its promise to transform the way online advertising agencies and markers do business begins to look more than plausible.
The post-ad-tech transition
Sidestepping rumors that Turn is heading for an IPO shortly, the company’s CEO Bill Demas said:
“I don’t have a crystal ball. Our focus is on building a great company. Obviously, a fund raise like this allows us to have more flexibility about when we go public.”
The more perspicuous art director will note the word “when” in this statement, not “if.” The new investment will go toward further developing Turn’s DMP and DSP products and its machine learning algorithms, although some will go into continued global expansion.
Explaining “post-ad-tech” as the transition toward an enterprise software and services model in marketing, Demas added:
“Where [the industry is] coming from is heavy arbitrage, lack of transparency, minimal true technology, and we’re evolving that to a world of full transparency and empowerment of the marketer.”