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OpenX Inks Deal With Microsoft

OpenX Inks Deal With Microsoft

Ryan Carter/San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Nov. 3- PASADENA – Microsoft’s customer base could get even bigger – but so will a local company’s footprint in the $50-billion world of online advertising.

Pasadena-based ad technology firm OpenX just inked a deal with the software giant. Under the partnership, through OpenX, Microsoft will get access to a huge new distribution channel – a community of 150,000 Web sites that serve more than 300 billion advertisements a month.

But OpenX gets something too: Microsoft’s customers – Web publishers interested in OpenX’s services.

“It’s a big deal for us,” said Tim Cadogan, OpenX’s CEO. "For a company like Microsoft to reach out and partner with a start-up is pretty rare. “It’s also important symbolically in that we hope we can take (the company) to the next level.”

OpenX has been growing for a while – despite being in the ad server market with behemoths like Google and Yahoo! Founded in 1998 as open-source software that gives Web publishers free software to serve ads on their website.

From there, things have taken off – even in a tight economy.

In May, venture capital firm Dag Ventures led a $10.5 million round of investment in OpenX.

And besides showing Internet users 300 billion ads a month, its now tapping revenue by selling support and consulting services. And the firm is banking on its new OpenX Market software – which creates an exchange – or marketplace – between Web publishers and advertisers.

Under the new partnership that technology will be fused with Microsoft’s Content Ads products.

Those products match ads to relevant editorial content (of an actual website). That allows advertisers to better convey their ads’ message and allows publishers to achieve a better return from their content.

OpenX will promote Content Ads within their OpenX Market exchange and build in a way for existing OpenX customers to sign up for Content Ads.

It’s a good fit, Microsoft officials said.

“We are pleased to partner with a company that supports (our) vision,” said Scott Howe, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s ad technology platform, in a statement. “OpenX is a leading technology provider that is providing valuable options and solutions to the publisher community, and by extension, the digital advertising ecosystem as a whole.”

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