AOL’s Group Acquires Retargeting Startup Buysight

AOL just announced that it has acquired Buysight, a startup offering ad targeting and retargeting.

The startup will become part of the group, which includes AOL’s various ad platforms, such as, 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 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 acquires a company, it maintains the separate brand while integrating the business.