Condé Nast has invested an undisclosed sum in Flite, a cloud-based ad technology firm. The San Francisco-based company provides marketers, brands, and publishers with ad development tools, a measurement tracking platform, and a hub for integrating social media into various display ad formats.
Condé Nast, which was already a client of Flite's, purchased about 11 percent of the company. The move highlights how increasingly vital it is for publishers to find the right ad technology tools to attract high-level brands (and their marketing budgets) for creative digital campaigns.
A series of conglomerate media publishers have made significant investments or acquisitions in the field of ad technology and social media monetization of late. Earlier this month Gannet Co. acquired Facebook ad tech company BLiNQ Media, and Condé Nast has already invested in Trigger Media.
Susan Portnoy, VP of media relations at Condé Nast, said the company is continuing to pursue a variety of opportunities in ad tech innovation - from its internal team of creatives and developers to potential investment opportunities or partnerships with companies like Flite.
The cloud-based platform enables marketers to view ad performance in real time and make on-the-fly changes to ad creative based on which formats or social media tools are performing best. Flite works with a full spectrum of marketers, designers, developers, and publishers, including P&G, Microsoft, VivaKi, Starcom Mediavest, IPG, Federated Media, Charles Schwab, IDG, and Forbes. Flite's customers are using the platform to build, deliver, update, and measure rich media display ads in real time. Users can also embed social media, video, reviews, local information, and other functions inside the ad.
By investing in Flite, Condé Nast is certainly giving the startup a vote of confidence, but it is also making a strategic bet on a growing business with huge potential.
"Flite is a valuable addition to Condé Nast's arsenal of development tools," noted Josh Stinchcomb, VP of corporate partnerships at Condé Nast. "Pairing it with our award-winning custom content and creative, we'll be able to produce some of the most unique web ad experiences in the industry."
Condé Nast declined to comment on how its parent company, Advance Publications, might use Flite's technology throughout its various subsidiaries, which include Advance Digital, publisher of multiple news sites across the U.S.
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Matt Kapko has been writing about mobile since 2006, before it became cool. Based in Long Beach, CA, he has covered mobile entertainment, digital media, marketing, and advertising for several business media outlets. A former editor and reporter for RCR Wireless News, paidContent, and iMedia Connection, Matt is a regular freelance reporter for ClickZ. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @MattKapko or drop him a line at email@example.com.
March 19, 2014