isocket’s founding CEO John Ramey will remain involved as chairman of the board.
TechCrunch actually has a bit of history of isocket — when we (I say we, but that was years before I joined) left Federated Media’s network back in 2009, TechCrunch turned to isocket as a self-serve platform for selling ads. (The ad team tells me that we still work with isocket.) That was really the beginning of the company, Jalichandra said, and at the time, the technology was still in the “rubber band and paper clip” phase.
Now, he said isocket has become a leader in “the emerging space of programmatic direct” — namely, automated ad buying where there’s a direct relationship with publishers, often involving premium inventory. Publishers that work with isocket include Microsoft, Forbes, Reuters, and Gawker Media.
Programmatic is definitely a hot term in online advertising, but Jalichandra said that it has largely involved the buying of remnant ad inventory: “There’s been very little innovation in terms of automating the process of allowing direct connections between buyers and sellers.” That he said, is really what isocket is good at.
Jalichandra left the CEO role at Technorati in 2011 and then joined MapMyFitness, where he was CEO for more than a year. He told me that the MapMyFitness job was a bit of a break, and that he and his wife also took some time off to raise their child, but now he’s ready to get back into the media business.
Jalichandra added he’s taken on the role of “gray-haired executive” before, including at Technorati, which required at major change of direction. In this case, he said isocket has built a strong foundation, so he’s being brought on to grow the business.
The key to making these transitions work, he said, is building a good relationship with the founder, while also making sure CEO has enough freedom to pursue his own vision — and it sounds like Jalichandra thinks he has both.