Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Google Explains Its Invite Media Buy

Here’s official confirmation of Google’s acquisition of Invite Media, which I reported yesterday: The search giant has announced the deal on its DoubleClick blog.

Google’s (GOOG) explanation for the acquisition of the demand-side platform, which helps buyers navigate high-volume display advertising exchanges:

In recent months, many agencies and advertisers have been asking us to make a bidding platform available directly to them, as they want to take advantage of the opportunities that real time bidding presents. We’re going to continue to invest significantly in improving Invite Media’s technology and products as a separate platform and, in time, make it work seamlessly with our DoubleClick for Advertisers (DFA) ad serving product. DFA enables advertisers and agencies to effectively plan, target, serve and measure display ad campaigns across the web. Integrating Invite Media’s technology will help DFA’s clients to easily buy ad space across multiple ad exchanges, as part of managing their broader display ad campaigns. Invite Media’s platform will of course continue to be available to any agency or advertiser, whether they use DFA or not.

And here’s Google’s assurance that the company won’t be using Invite as a Google-only service. Though I’m assuming federal regulators may end up sniffing around this one, too.

Invite Media enables ad space to be bought across multiple exchanges and platforms, with its clients in control of where their ad dollars are spent. It’s going to continue that way. Think of Invite Media as just like DFA itself–technology that delivers ads across multiple websites.

One final note about how this fits in with the DoubleClick Ad Exchange. Just as Invite Media works across multiple exchanges, this announcement changes nothing about the operation of the Ad Exchange–it will continue to provide exactly the same open and neutral access to ad space for multiple buyers, partner support and API availability as it has always done.

A word about the deal’s price: I’ve heard some pushback on the $70 million price tag I estimated yesterday, with the suggestion that it’s higher. If I can confirm that, I’ll update here.

Bonus video!
Via Invite Media investor First Round Capital, here’s a September 2008 clip featuring awkward dancing. First Round’s Chris Fralic is the guy who looks like a VC; CEO Nat Turner is the one on his left (or your right, if you prefer).

Congratulations Invite Media from First Round Capital on Vimeo.