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Aaron Finn
Aaron Finn

AdReady is getting a new home. The Seattle online advertising startup — founded seven years ago by Aaron Finn and bankrolled by the likes of Madrona, Khosla Ventures and Bain Capital — has been sold to New York digital media holding company CPXi.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and CPXi CEO Michael Seiman declined to comment on the value of the acquisition. AdReady had previously raised about $17 million, including an extra $500,000 last summer.

AdReady held a lot of promise when it started its self-service display advertising platform, attracting a high-profile board that once included former aQuantive and now Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews; Concur CEO Steve Singh and former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar.

But the business underwent a number of shifts over the years, including layoffs and exec departures.

Finn returned as CEO 10 months ago, saying at the time that AdReady was well positioned to “help advertisers deploy micro-campaigns.”

CPXi’s Seiman agrees that AdReady is primed to take off, telling GeekWire that the company was “ahead of its time” when it developed the platform in 2006.

seiman44
CPXi CEO Michael Seiman

“The market wasn’t truly embracing programmatic (advertising) yet at that time. It was a very manual process to place buys, and it was very ad network heavy,” said Seiman. “Part of the reason that we are making this acquisition is that there was a lot of effort and build-out and investment put into that technology at a time when it was not embraced by the market, and we believe that time is now. And that’s why we are so excited to bring the AdReady team and the acquisition in, because you have a technology that is very needed today in terms of real-time creative components, plus the demand-side solutions. That packaged together is something that is needed in the digital landscape, and we believe we are going to be — by having this acquisition — months, if not years, ahead of others.”

Seiman said that they plan to keep the 20-person AdReady team in place in Seattle, and they could even boost hiring next year. “We believe that they are understaffed,” said Seiman. “There is a lot of growth ahead of them in terms of the clients they can bring on, and supporting their current roster of clients.” Customers who use AdReady’s advertising services include Yahoo, ESPN and Alaska Airlines. The technology has been used over the years by 8,000 customers who’ve run more than 500,000 ads through it.

Finn will stay on board, serving as general manager of the AdReady business. As a holding company, CPXi also operates four other key business areas, and Seiman said that they think they can add on new services and features from other units in the company.

“We have spent the last seven years growing and evolving our platform, offering effective and profitable world class digital advertising solutions for advertisers, agencies and publishers,” said Finn in a statement. “This acquisition is the next logical step in our growth; joining with CPXi’s unmatched publisher relationships, technology and data solutions enable us to offer truly competitive, turnkey media solutions on a broader scale. We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about this new relationship.”

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