AOL just announced that it has acquired Buysight, a startup offering ad targeting and retargeting.
The startup will become part of the Advertising.com group, which includes AOL’s various ad platforms, such as Advertising.com, ADTECH, The AOL On Network, goviral, and Pictela. (AOL also owns TechCrunch.) In the acquisition press release, the group’s CEO, Ned Brody, said Buysight’s technology will be incorporated into AOL’s Adlearn optimization technology.
Buysight was founded in 2008 and was previously called Permuto. One of the main features highlighted in both the press release and the startup’s website is its ability to do “dynamic creative optimization” — in other words, it’s not just using user data to target an ad, but also to tailor ads to the content. It raised a total of $16 million in funding from investors, including Onset Ventures, Rembrandt Venture Partners, Reid Hoffman, and Jeff Clavier.
“The acquisition of Buysight brings proven Dynamic Creative Optimization and machine learning capabilities which will further enhance AdLearn, our market-leading optimization engine, and its ability to provide brands and performance marketers a comprehensive and integrated optimization solution across channels,” Brody said.
The terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but the press release said the entire Buysight team will be joining AOL.
Update: I just got off the phone with Brody, who told me that he had been looking at this market for a while now, and specifically at partnering with some of the larger companies, before deciding that it made more sense to own the technology.
Asked why he chose this company in particular, Brody said as a test, his team has already been running Buysight campaigns on Advertising.com properties and seeing impressive results. He added:
It was the combination of ease of working with advertisers and the efficacy of the mediation. The architecture of their system lends itself to integration with Adlearn, so [after the integration] we expect it to significantly outperform what they had been able to do historically from an optimization standpoint.
Brody also said that a decision hasn’t been made on whether to maintain the Buysight brand. He noted that historically, when Advertising.com acquires a company, it maintains the separate brand while integrating the business.
Buysight (previously Permuto) strives to bring the same level of reach, performance and measurability of search engine marketing to the world of display advertising. The company provides effective solutions for both brand and performance advertisers, and has developed an online display advertising network called ShopperConnect™, focused on the $205B+ online e-commerce shopping market. Permuto, Inc. is founded by veterans of Yahoo!, Doubleclick, Rhythm NewMedia, Apple, Oracle, Microsoft, and Excite@Home. Permuto is rebranding itself as Buysight.
Advertising.com claims to offer “the industry’s largest online advertising network, which reaches more consumers each month than any other online property.” Their marketing suite offers tools for display advertising, behavioral marketing, promotional marketing, managed affiliate placements and video advertising. The company has offices all over the world, but is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.
AOL is a global advertising-supported Web company, with display advertising network in the U.S., a substantial worldwide audience, and a suite of popular Web brands and products. The company’s strategy focuses on increasing the scale and sophistication of its advertising platform and growing the size and engagement of its global online audience through leading products and programming. History of Aol: AOL was founded in the early 1980’s as Control Video Corp, with an online service, Gameline, for the Atari 2600 console. ...