Rubicon Project Bows Ad Optimization Platform

The two year-old online advertising optimization firm the Rubicon Project has introduced a new technology platform, REVV for publishers, which promises to help Web publishers attain better pricing and extract more useful data for inventory they sell directly to advertisers.

The Los Angeles based company, founded in 2007, is backed by $42 million in venture funding, including an investment from General Electric/NBC Universal’s Peacock Equity Fund. Originally Rubicon was launched to help publishers manage multiple relationships with ad networks; its tools were designed to deliver those publishers the highest possible price on a given piece of inventory at a given moment in time, and also to help consolidate billing and reporting.

Now, Rubicon says it can help sites with inventory that they sell themselves. “After we launched the company, we learned very quickly that publishers had a lot more problems,” said JT Batson, Rubicon’s vp of publishers. “They would say to us, ‘this sure seems like if you evolved your platform you could help us with a lot of other things.”

According to Batson, publisher can now use REVV to set pricing, and protect against price erosion. In addition the platform can aggregate audience data from numerous internal and external sources to be used in the ad sales process. “The data market is so fragmented,” said Batson. “There is no way that a publisher can integrate this all [themselves].”

Rubicon has signed NBC Universal, Gannett and CareerBuilder to begin utilizing REVV. “Different publishers will use it in different ways,” added Batson.

Of course, Rubicon is hardly the only company to emerge in the growing segment of online publishing services. For example, PubMatic has seen its customer base grow of late; the company announced a deal on Wednesday (Oct. 7) with The Huffington Post. Plus, both Microsoft and Yahoo have announced intentions to challenge in this arena.