Ad optimizer The Rubicon Project has announced its acquisition of the Fox Audience Network from News Corp. (NSDQ: NWS), along with an $18 million financing. The funding brings Los Angeles-based Rubicon’s total amount raised to $60 million since its founding just three years ago by CEO Frank Addante.
As part of its acquisition of the FAN, News Corp. will take a small, non-controlling stake in Rubicon. News Corp. has done similar “property-for-equity” deals like this in the past. Sources have told paidContent that News Corp. took at 19.9 percent stake in the company.
FAN was initially set up to sell ads for News Corp. sites, including MySpace, and also for third-parties. The unit had claimed success with its self-serve ad platform and initiated a reorganization last spring designed to put more emphasis on that business. Before the sale, News Corp. had been considering folding FAN into MySpace. Those plans were put into play after Adam Bain, who “founded” FAN, said he was joining Twitter as president of global revenues in August.
About 100 FAN employees will be added to Rubicon’s staff, mostly in the engineering and product areas.
Included in those FAN staffers is John Carnahan, the company’s CTO and EVP of Product, Technology and Operations. He’ll now serve as Rubicon’s CTO. Carnahan will oversee all product development activities, and formulating long-term vision and strategy for the REVV platform. Before arriving at to Fox Interactive Media in four years ago, Carnahan was lead developer at Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Research.
News Corp. participated in the new financing round. It was joined by previous backers. Clearstone Venture Partners, IDG Ventures Asia, Mayfield Fund, NBC (NYSE: GE) Universal’s Peacock Equity Fund and Jarl Mohn. Release