Lookery, a startup that focuses on collecting demographic data about users and sites around the web and then selling this information to ad networks to target users, is heading to the deadpool. In a blog post, Lookery’s CEO Scott Rafer confirmed that the startup will be shutting its doors after launching in 2007.
Lookery initially started as an ad network for social applications on Facebook, and quickly encountered the troubles of making money off ads on social networks. Lookery ran a promotion for advertisers, offering a guarantee of 12.5 cents per thousand ad impressions (CPMs) in January of 2008. Lookery also made a bold play for ads on traffic from European markets, guaranteeing 25 cents per thousand impressions per advert from European traffic. But things clearly weren’t working out — by July, Lookery was downgrading its guarantee offering 7.5 cents per ad impression, cutting its rates nearly in half.
Although the network served around three billion ad impressions per month, Lookery sold its ad serving business to online advertising network Adknowledge in November of 2008. By that time, Lookery had already branched out into collecting anonymous demographic data from websites and providing this info to advertisers, social networks, dating sites, ISPs, and e-commerce sites.
Lookery raised $3.15 million in angel funding over the past two years, from notable investors and VCs including Charles River Ventures and former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt. And the startup managed to raise a round of funding last September, during tough economic conditions. But in his blog post, Rafer wrote that one of the startup’s downfalls was its original dependence on the Facebook platform. Rafer also mentioned that Facebook’s Summer 2008 redesign had a negative effect on the ad network going on to say that in retrospect, he should have sold the ad network much earlier than November.
Lookery has been added to the deadpool.