AdTech and MarTech Investing 2017 Panel

It’s only a little over a week away until you can meet and network with investors from Rincon Venture Partners, CEC Capital Group (formerly Siemer & Associates) and Brilliant Ventures at the LA AdTech panel on AdTech and MarTech Investing

RSVP now before early bird pricing ends on April 19th!

The panelists will be discussing investing in adtech and martech particularly since investing in the Southern California region has matured in recent years, ranging from funding rounds for Conversion Logic ($9M), Pathmatics ($3M), Vertebrae ($10M) and GumGum ($24M) to the acquisition of CitizenNet and IPOs for The Trade Desk and Snap.

The speakers at this panel includes:
– Jim Andelman (Rincon Venture Partners)
– Dan Chen (CEC Capital, formerly Siemer & Associates)
– Fred Krueger (Troopwork, Adconion, GradientX)
– Kara Weber (Brilliant Ventures, Rubicon Project,

Meet AdTech and MarTech Investors

Our speakers will help answer:
– How are investors of varying types and sizes viewing the direction of the public markets?
– Will there be more acquisitions than IPOs, particularly from foreign investors?
– As some categories become commoditized, which segments can provide greater returns to investors?
– Are investors paying attention to nascent segments such as VR/AR and influencer marketing?
– With companies like Adobe turning into the martech behemoths through acquisition, will there be further consolidation in the space?
– Will other big corporations follow this path and will they invest in or acquire?

Thank you our venue host, Troopwork and promotional partner,  Santa Monica Tech Mixer 3.


Speaker Bios

Jim Andelman: Mr. Jim Andelman is a Co-Founder, General Partner, Managing Partner, and Managing Director at Rincon Venture Partners. Mr. Andelman co-founded Rincon Venture Partners and is responsible for driving the fund’s investment activities, as well as its operations. He led the firm’s efforts in software and services. Mr. Andelman led the assessment of over 300 investment opportunities, participated in the deployment of $78 million across five portfolio companies, and enjoyed four successful exits in a challenging macroeconomic environment.
Dan Chen: Dan Chen brings to CEC Capital over 18 years of investment banking, private equity and corporate development experience in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) industries, and has been involved in transactions totaling over $5 billion in value throughout his career. Dan currently leads and oversees execution of cross-border US – Asia M&A and capital raising mandates for clients in the media and entertainment, advertising, software, data, and Internet services space. He is also currently a Strategic Board Member of Lotus Innovations Fund, LP, a private equity firm focused on software investments in the Southern California market, and is part of the mentor team at MuckerLab, advising media and software entrepreneurs in the startup ecosystem in Southern California.
Fred Krueger: One of LA’s most successful technology entrepreneurs, Fred Krueger has had ten exits totaling more than $500 million. He is currently founder and CEO of Troopwork, a robust enterprise application for organizing information around team collaboration and company communication. Prior to starting Troopwork, Mr. Krueger was president of Top Level Domain Holdings (now Minds + Machines). Best known for his track record for growing and selling high growth advertising technology companies, he was the founder of iWin, Santa Monica Networks, TrafficMarketplace (acquired by Vivendi), TagWorld (acquired by Viacom), Adconion Media Group, (acquired by Amobee) and GradientX (acquired by SingTel). Mr. Krueger holds a PhD. in Operations Research and a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics from Stanford University and a BA degree in Mathematics from Cornell University.
Kara Weber: Kara Weber, founding partner at Brilliant Ventures and founder of #CityofAngels, is a recovering serial tech/media entrepreneur and operator driven by a creative heart. A born marketer, she’s been lucky or smart enough to be a founder and/or leader of many breakthrough companies – (sold to $AOL), Rubicon Project ($RUBI), Mogopop, Talking Panda, Streetmail (now Everyday Health), and Tripod (sold to $LCOS) – and still finds nothing as compelling as working with brilliant entrepreneurs and amazing companies. Her interests – beyond art, reading and travel – lie in innovative technology, scalable global platforms and revolutionary ideas. Kara graduated from Williams College and lives in Venice, CA with her 1 husband, 2 sons and 3 dogs.

eMarketer Reports US Native Digital Ad Spend To Top $22 Billion

In their first forecast report on native advertising spending that was recently released, eMarketer projects the spend on native digital ads in the US will exceed $22 billion in 2017 and this will represent about 53% all display ad spend.

US total display spending grew from $33 billion last year to $41.7 billion in 2017. Native digital ad spend will continue grow to over $28 billion in 2018.

Within the ~$22 billion spent on native digital ads in 2017, most of it were on social media platforms particularly on Facebook, but the non-social components are growing fast going from $3.5 billion this year to $5 billion in 2018.

eMarketer’s principal analyst, Lauren Fisher, explained to Mediapost’ Native Insider that social media channels had helped trained advertisers to adopt in-feed native ads leading to the social channels’ 84% share of native ads spending. Learning from that, publishers are starting to adopt a similar in-feed style for native ads instead of relying on only standard banner ads. This, coupled with recent partnerships between native ads platforms and DSPs (ie Nativo and The Trade Desk), should explain the forecasted fast growth in the non-social components.

In-feed native ads will be crucial to publishers as audiences shift towards smaller mobile screens to consume content by scrolling and where publishers will lose the rightrail real estate commonly reserved for banner ads. Moreover, publishers can then command a higher price as advertising clients ask for more custom sponsored content including videos that are not available on big social platforms.

Since native advertising is largely purchased on social platforms, it’s also almost entirely mobile. Native mobile display ad spending will reach $19.5 billion this year, representing a 88.3% share of total native ads, and it is still growing. However, it will only be 64.5% of all US mobile display ad spending in 2017.

eMarketer estimates 84% of all native display ad spending ($18.55 billion) will be transacted programmatically in 2017 because of social media ads, which are mostly transacted via APIs.

Interesting Reading: 4 Key Takeaways From EMarketer’s US Native Digital Display Advertising Forecast

eMarketer Reports US Native Digital Ad Spend To Top $22 Billion


Snapchat Releases New Audience Targeting Feature

With Snap, Inc. ($SNAP) currently trading about 30% below its all time high price (of $29.44 right after its IPO), it will have to show earnings and progress to shareholders in its upcoming first quarterly report as a public company. The release of Snapchat’s new ad targeting option called Snap Engagement Audiences that command higher CPMs than standard targeting is a good start.

This new ad offering will allow brands to set up new ad campaigns to target Snapchat users who already had interacted with their ads on the app previously. These users have already shown an interest in the brand with the previous interaction and are likely considered to be in a “consideration stage” or “mid-funnel”.

Snap considers this to be engagement targeting instead of standard re-targeting because everything takes within within the app instead of involving external websites and data. In addition, engagement targeting will not include audiences that had only watched the previous Snap ad without interacting with it. By narrowing the funnel and serving up more higher potential audiences to the brands, Snapchat can then encourage higher bids for these impressions (since brands are still paying by and bidding for impressions) that would be cost efficient to the brands.

MarketingLand posted a very detailed description of this new Engagement Audiences process along with this example: a mobile game advertiser could run a Snap Ad that features a long video documenting how the game is played to seed people’s interest. Then it could follow up with a Snap Ad to install the app but only show it to the people who not only watched the longer game trailer but also are considered likely to actually install the game.

Interesting readings:

Snap Inc IPO

Forrester Reports Poor Quality Ads Wasted $7.4 Billions In 2016

Forrester released a new report recently which concluded poor-quality ads cost U.S. marketers $7.4 billion last year and this cost may continue to growth to $10.9 billion by 2021 if the issue of waste is not addressed properly.

While Forrester’s actual report is only available for a fee, MediaPost posted an informative summary of the report. Some of the highlights include:

  • Programmatic media and video are the primary cause of ad fraud spending waste
  • Lack of transparency in the ad tech supply tech greatly contributed
  • Marketers are pushing for standards like for print and television but until then, such waste will remain
  • Without standards, even measuring viewability won’t be useful


LA AdTech Panel – Investing In AdTech 2017 Update

In the past few years, Los Angeles has grown to become as an established region for ad-tech and mar-tech innovation in programmatic, mobile, video, native, and data, as well as in virtual reality, augmented reality and influencer marketing.  So it is only expected that investing activities would follow suit.

Moreover, investing activities in ad-tech and mar-tech companies have also matured from seed investments to ranging from later funding rounds ($9M for Conversion Logic) to investment exits via acquisitions (Turn & CitizenNet) and major IPOs (The Trade Desk ($TTD) and Snapchat ($SNAP)).

So, it’s time to take a temperature check on the investing environment for ad-tech and mar-tech:
– How are investors of varying sizes viewing the direction of the public stock market?
– Will there be more acquisitions than IPOs, particularly from foreign telcos?
– As some segments are being commoditized, what segments such as Native, Mobile, Video, etc can still provide huge returns to investors?
– Are investors paying attention to nascent segments such as VR/AR and Influencer Marketing?
– With companies like Adobe is turning into quite the martech behemouth through acquisitions, will there be further consolidation in the space?
– Would other big corporations follow this path and will they invest in or acquire instead?

These are a just a few of the questions we’ll be exploring in this panel discussion that brings together investors active in the ad tech sector. So, please RSVP now for early bird pricing.

Related Story: M&A And Fundraising Report In AdTech And MarTech Sectors

Speakers for this panel include:
– Jim Andelman (Rincon)
– Dan Chen (Siemer / CEC Capital Group)
– Fred Krueger (Troopwork, Adconion, GradientX)
– Kara Weber (Brilliant Ventures)
– Other names coming soon

 Investing in AdTech 2017 Update

MAGNA Predicts US Digital Ad Revenue To Reach $80 Billion In 2017

Interpublic Group’s MAGMA recently released their quarterly US Advertising Forecast report and predicted US digital advertising in 2017 will reach $80 billion in sales. This represents an almost 14% (~$10 billion in sales) growth over 2016.

On the flip side, offline ad sales  will fall by about 3% to about $103 billion in 2017, a year without significant political and olympics ads spending.

MAGNA Predicts US Digital Ad Revenue To Reach $80 Billion In 2017

Search is expected to remain the largest revenue generator, bringing in $39 billion, a 13% growth over 2016, while video and social is once again expected to post the strongest growth rates of about 28% each. MAGNA expects the social media vendors (Facebook, Snap, Twitter etc.) will continue to offer new innovative video ad formats to advertisers, including ads in live social streams, leading to social video ad sales to double again in 2017 to reach more than $4 billion, i.e. a third of total US digital video ad sales, and 20% of total social media ad sales.

Digital ad sales are expected to get close to 40% of the industry total in 2017 and are forecast to reach 50% by 2021.

In 2016, digital ad sales beat television (both national and local) ad sales for the first time with ~$70 billion versus ~$67 billion. The gap between digital and television ad sales is expected to widen in 2017 with ~$80 billion versus ~$64 billion.

You can read MAGNA’s summary report below that includes a recap of total media owners advertising revenues in 2016 or download it from their website.

MAGNA Predicts US Digital Ad Revenue To Reach $80 Billion In 2017

Livetweets From LA AdTech Panel At Pathmatics 3/22

Thank you everyone for attending the LA AdTech panel “How Ad Fraud & Other Factors Are Changing The Ad Tech Ecosystem” on March 22nd that was generously hosted by LA AdTech partner company Pathmatics.

We want to publicly thank the CEO and Co-Founder of Pathmatics, Gabe Gottlieb, who moderated the panel last night. We also want to thank our panelists Ben Plomion (CMO of GumGum), Matt Arkin (VP West of VideoAmp) and Nick Lynch (VP, Head of Digital at Icon Media Direct), who graciously contributed their time to the lively discussion.

Great conversations and networking were had by all the attendees before and after the panel with food and beverage generously sponsored by Pathmatics. So, make sure to check out more insights regularly published by Pathmatics at

If you missed the event last night (or like a refresher), see below for livetweets on some topics from the panel discussion.

Special thanks must be given to Ken Roberts and Jordan Hieshetter from the Pathmatics team who helped organized the flawless event last night. You have our gratitude.

Livetweets From LA AdTech Panel At Pathmatics 3/22

Pathmatics Report On Media’s Biggest Spenders In January 2017

Don’t forget, Pathmatics is hosting this month’s LA AdTech panel on “How Ad Fraud And Other Factors Are Changing The Ad Tech Ecosystem” on March 22nd, to be moderated by its CEO Gabe Gottlieb.

Due to the venue size, seating is limited. So, make sure to RSVP now.
How Fraud And Other Factors Are Changing AdTech

Meanwhile, let’s take a quick look back at who Pathmatics identified to be media’s biggest spenders in January 2017. Using their own proprietary ad spend data, Pathmatics found that CBS, while gaining the most number of impression in its industry, it was not the top spender.

1. NBC Universal Television

Total Spend
Total Impressions
Direct Spend
Direct Impressions


Total Spend
Total Impressions
Direct Spend
Direct Impressions

3. CBS

Total Spend
Total Impressions
Direct Spend
Direct Impressions

4. HBO

Total Spend
Total Impressions
Direct Spend
Direct Impressions

5. Starz Entertainment

Total Spend
Total Impressions
Direct Spend
Direct Impressions

Source: Pathmatics US Desktop, Mobile, and Video Data, January 1st, 2017 – January 31st, 2017.

In addition to gaining the most impressions among these media buyers but ranking only third in total spend amount, CBS also pushed 211 unique ad creatives, the second most after NBC’s 437 ad creatives. Direct advertising is not important to CBS as it ranked last among these media buyers in the amount spent in that media category.

You can read more about the spend amount by these media buyers on Pathmatics’ own blog.

Please RSVP to the Pathmatics Panel on 3/22 to learn more about how ad fraud, transparency and other factors are changing the ad tech ecosystem! Space is limited.

Pathmatics Report On Media's Biggest Spenders In January 2017

Nativo Partners With The Trade Desk To Offer Native Ads Programmatically

Through a strategic partnership with LA AdTech partner company, The Trade Desk, Nativo will make available its True Native and native video ad units programmatically to advertisers on the demand-side platform.

Nativo‘s True Native ad format allows the sponsored content to remain on the publisher’s site instead of clicking out to a branded landing page, hence not interrupting the consumer experience on the publisher’s site.

Nativo’s True Native sees significantly lower bounce rates and boasts an average of 90 seconds spent on its branded articles. Additionally, Nativo advertisers have seen up to a 13x lift in brand awareness, a 6.4x lift in purchase consideration, and a 5.4x lift in purchase intent.

GroupM’s native ad division, Plista, will be a key buyer in the new partnership between Nativo and The Trade Desk. Plista will overlay the data management platform Turbine for audience targeting in its sponsored content campaigns. The deals transact via a private marketplace, but with fixed pricing.

By integrating with demand-side platforms, Nativo is positioning itself for growth. Research from eMarketer found that in 2016 47% of U.S. marketers and agencies ran native advertising campaigns programmatically.

Nativo Partners With The Trade Desk To Offer Native Ads Programmatically

Factual Provides Data To Adobe, Oracle And Liveramp In New Partnership

Factual, the Los Angeles-based location data company founded by Gil Elbaz from Applied Semantics, is partnering and integrating with Adobe, Liveramp and Oracle to provide location data to those platforms.

Currently over 400 customized audiences can be accessed by marketers in the mobile world on Factual’s Geopulse Audience through various DMPs.

Factual’s Geopulse Audiences allows advertisers to target based on people’s real world behavior. Factual’s Global Places™ data is comprised of over 100 million local business listings and points of interests in 50 countries and is updated in real time. The data includes multiple attributes for each place including name, address, phone number, latitude and longitude (geocode), category and many more.

As demand for location data by mobile ad request keeps growing in leaps and bounds (170% year-over-year expansion from 2015 to 2016 alone), Factual’s availability of their location data can only help grow the location-based mobile ad industry.

Factual Provide Data To Adobe, Oracle And Liveramp In New Partnership