ChoiceStream, which began as a product recommendation engine before three years ago shifting to programmatic ad tech, has raised $7.5 million in Series B financing from Fred Alger Management.
The financing will help ChoiceStream grow out its sales capabilities, with the remainder going toward the build-out of its demand-side platform (DSP) technology.
CEO Eric Bosco said he believes ChoiceStream’s roots in recommendations, namely its “intellectual property inherited from the personalization business,” gives the company an edge in the crowded DSP space.
The DSP is also designed to serve dynamic creative in real-time, for instance letting weather forecasts influence which products show up in the ads.
Technologies from ChoiceStream’s other assets, like its survey site Pollshare.com, can also be applied to its DSP. For instance, Pollshare can be used to find hard-to-reach audiences. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts released coffee pods for Keurig machines and requested ChoiceStream target Keurig owners – which is not typically captured through cookies.
ChoiceStream drove traffic to a poll question hosted through Pollshare to identify Keurig users. In so doing, it discovered that people who owned Keurig machines were also five times as likely to own Jeeps and used that audience, which was a better-defined segment, to target Keurig owners.
ChoiceStream’s DSP clients include 150 agencies and advertisers.
“There are certain brands or agency groups where we are the primary programmatic partner of choice. They like product, results, service, and use us for their programmatic campaign,” Bosco said. “Then there are those who have another programmatic partner, like the MediaMaths of the world, that they use for specific campaign needs. If they require server-based targeting, or have a challenging ROI metric, we’ve made a name for ourselves for meeting those hard performance requirements.”
Bosco said the company is on track to grow 300% year over year as more brands delve into programmatic. It’s integrated with “most of the major advertising exchanges,” he added, including Google’s DoubleClick, Yahoo’s RightMedia, AppNexus and Facebook FBX.