Imgis, Cupertino, Calif., has changed its name to AdForce--the same name as its centralized ad management service--and has raised $20 million in funding, much of it from America Online. It also has signed Netscape's Netcenter, the browser company's entry into the portal competition, as a client.
Chuck Berger, chairman and CEO of the 3-year-old company, said the switch was made to capitalize on the more easily recognizable brand name.
AdForce, which competes with the DoubleClick DART management service, is a centralized system that doesn't require sites to serve their own ads. It includes management features, such as ad scheduling, inventory management, media planning, reporting, auditing and billing.
Though Berger would not release figures, he said America Online has invested millions of dollars in the product, which shows "their belief in that technology and the role they see it playing for them." Other investors include investment management firms Attractor Investment Management, Burlingame, Calif., and Hambrecht & Quist, San Francisco.
Myer Berlow, senior vice president of interactive marketing at AOL, said, "We're always looking for technologies that help us in a new revenue area." He added that the company's ad sales force will sell inventory for AdForce customers seeking that service.
David Beckwith, director of search and navigation for Netscape, said NetGravity has served the majority of the site's ads for the past two years. Netcenter will utilize the AdForce centralized server in increasing volume during the next few months, he added.