DoubleClick rival Openads secures $5m funding

Adserver company Openads has secured $5m worth of venture capitalist funding, to help it compete with Google and its recently acquired DoubleClick.

The initial investment, which comprises a majority amount from Index Ventures, along with First Round Capital, Mangrove Capital Partners and O'Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures, will be used by Openads to increase its chances of competing with Google in the ad search market.

The London-based Openads, which was set up in 1999, began as an open-source software development company, and now has more than 25,000 small and medium sized website publishers signed up to its ad search business.

The company's ad-server technology is in competition with Google's DoubleClick, which is being scrutinised by the Federal Trade Commission following its $3.1bn (£1.56bn) acquisition, along with the search giant's mainstay ad search tool AdSense.

Openads said its global reach differs greatly to Google, as 70% of its customers are not based in North America, and its investors have described the technology as "intuitive and easy to use".

Saul Klein, partner at Index Ventures, said: "In a way, [Openads] has been one of the best kept secrets on the web. What we liked about Openads is that they're disrupting the market and [it] has secured funding for significant global adoption.

"What publishers love about Openads is that it is intuitive, easy to use, solid and they can peek under the hood and see how it works. But more than anything they love the fact that it is free."

Klein is the former vice-president of marketing at Skype, cofounder and CEO of Video Island, and the founding partner of The Accelerator Group.

Scott Switzer, founder of Openads, said: "When publishers are small, they will download Google advertising tags and put them on their page. The next step up is Openads."

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