RadiumOne, an online ad network that aims to combine social and intent data to serve ads, has raised $21 million in Series B funding led by Crosslink Capital, with DFJ Esprit, Adams Street Partners and Trinity Ventures participating in the round. This latest round brings RadiumOne’s total funding to $33.5 million. Although the company declined to name the valuation in the round, we heard from industry sources that the network’s valuation was roughly $200 million (we heard one online company tried to buy RadiumOne for $250 million).
RadiumOne was founded by serial entrepreneur and gWallet founder Gurbaksh Chahal. Chahal sold his ad network BlueLithium to Yahoo for $300 million in 2007 and at the time, Chahal’s company was the fifth largest ad network in the United States and the second largest in the United Kingdom. Chahal’s non-compete contract with Yahoo ended in October 2010, and he got back into the online ad business with RadiumOne.
RadiumOne mines social data and use this information to identify relevant consumers for brands. Through what Chahal calls “social retargeting,” RadiumOne analyzes how users interact with one another on social networks to find the consumers that identify with a brand’s current customer base, and then serves advertisements to this audience across the company’s network of publishers.
RadiumOne gets this data directly from social networks (which sell anonymous user behavior data to advertisers), its own gWallet offer platform, blogging platforms, microblogging platforms (i.e. Twitter), URL shorteners, photosharing websites and other applications. As social media users share information like links, blog posts, videos and more, RadiumOne will analyze this data to place the consumers on a social graph that will accurately describe their “behavior.”
RadiumOne will also take the social data and form “social clusters” of people who know each other and share common interests. RadiumOne will target these new groups based on their interactions.The startup recently rolled out a new social ad format with likes and shares, that promise to increase engagement.
The latest funding round will be used for international expansion and acquisitions, which Chahal says will center around talent and technology. Specfically he says that there are a number of interesting companies who are mined social data that are currently targets for RadiumOne. In terms of revenue, Chahal says that RadiumOne saw revenue in the double digit millions in 2010 and reached profitability in Q4 of the year. He says RadiumOne is on track to post four to five times 2010 revenue in 2011.
We sat down with Chahal for a video interview about the funding, RadiumOne’s future and more.