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Flycast 2.0 aka Adify Launches

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Larry Braitman and Richard Thompson, who had started Flycast Communications, an early ad-network in 1996, are back for an encore: this time with San Bruno-based Adify. Right in time to cash in on the ongoing eyeball boom and a sharp upswing in online advertising which is going to top $16 billion according to eMarketer. The company, which is expected to launch on Monday has also raised $8 million in Series A funding led by leading venture capital firm Venrock Associates.

The Flycast duo have developed an online advertising platform that puts publishers in charge, giving them tighter control over their ad-inventory. Typical online advertising network is essentially a way to monetize publishers’ unsold ad space. The advertisers and publishers have very little control. Hence, the need for Adify, according to the co-founders, who are already blogging.

As part of the platform, Adify will give publishers a specialized advertising page where they can fill out the details about what inventory is available, in what formats, and at what price. Adify will provide all of the back office functionality needed to execute the transaction, including ad management, tracking, reporting, billing and payment.

In order to get traction with some of the smaller publishers, the company has come up with highly vertical advertising networks, that match advertisers and publishers more effectively. The two networks that are currently on offer are “Clip-Ins,” for the cycling community, and “Top Dog Network” for dog loving publishers and advertisers. Feedburner might be moving along the same path.Brad Feld has set-up a VC network which well, aggregates feeds from various VC bloggers. Selling advertising against the network is part of the plan.

The idea of connecting niche communities to potential advertisers is an interesting one. Google AdSense has been successful way to put dollars into the pockets of small publishers, but the display advertising and sponsorship opportunities have been elusive. The publishers, including bloggers might give the service a shot, but will advertisers show up in large numbers? That is the make or break issue, not only for Adify, but anyone with online advertising ambitions.

PS: In case you were wondering, Flycast was bought by CMGI for about $690 million in stock back in 1999. Not sure how much of that turned into real money for Braitman and Thompson.

7 Responses to “Flycast 2.0 aka Adify Launches”

  1. Jedidiyah

    Will Adify pose a threat to Google Adsense program? Sramana Mitra shares her view on this. href=””>Adify challenges Google Adsense

  2. I like the idea and the clip-ins network seems like the right direction but what is different from adbrite. I hate when people do the “oh Google could do that” or “what if Microsoft comes out with it,” but what is the differenation from adbrite?

    I think the smaller networks are fine but I wonder if the ad revenue from this long tail will be substantial. Seem like smart enough guys to try and figure it out. I wonder if they gain traction against Google adsense where you don’t have to try and sell the ads yourself…

    noah kagan

  3. Mark,

    it does seem like an interesting little service especially if they bring in the right kind of advertisers. i suspect they are going to be dependent on that. We talked about this and a whole slew of online advertising related issues in our most recent podcast.

  4. Om,
    In the name of experimentation, I signed up for an Adify account to see how the process works. While it’s left to be seen whether advertisers take advantage of the platform, it’s certainly easy for bloggers to create an account and slap up an advertising box. Of course, I feel like a bit of an advertising floozy becuase i’ve now got adsense, adify and feedburst battling for clicks. maybe i’ll now be able to generate revenue equal to two cups of coffee a day, rather than just one!