Our investment in isocket

by Seth Levine

Today isocket announced an $8M Series A financing led by Foundry Group. isocket is pioneering the concept of “programmatic direct buying” of online advertising – connecting buyers and sellers of premium display inventory together on the isocket platform to streamline and make more efficient the process of buying and selling premium display. By making the traditionally very manual direct ad sales process easier, isocket has created the largest marketplace for direct ad buys. This means more high value demand coming straight to publishers doors, and more premium reach for advertisers with less overhead and more synergy with their RTB campaigns.

At Foundry we’ve made a number of investment in our Adhesive theme that are bringing technology to the online advertising ecosystem, including several that are focused on programmatic (meaning machine to machine) trading – specifically AdMeld (which was purchased by Google last December) and Triggit (the leading onramp to Facebook’s burgeoning exchange). Like most of the historic investment around programmatic, both AdMeld and Triggit are focused on that large swath of inventory that publishers don’t sell with their direct sales force, known in the industry as remnant or non-premium. With the large volumes and relatively low unit price points (not to mention the ability to target across huge audience segments), this was a logical place for this programmatic technology to enter the display ecosystem. But isocket is tackling the next frontier of programmatic buying and selling – building a platform that brings this same type of efficiency to the direct sold side of the business. To this day, direct sold inventory relies on email and faxes to transact – adding significant cost to the process of buying and selling house ads. It is this cost that isocket is attacking by building technology that helps both publishers and advertisers connect and transact more seamlessly.

We’ve had our eye on this space for some time and have evaluated a number of the emerging companies that are starting to focus on this problem. We believe that isocket Founder and CEO John Ramey has assembled the best team and has built the best product (and as a result the best customer base) to attack this problem. We’re thrilled to have isocket as part of the Foundry family! You can read more about this investment on Seth’s blog here.