AdForce Gets $20 Million In Additional Financing

Centralized ad management services provider AdForce Inc., which just changed its name from IMGIS Inc., said it raised an additional $20 million in financing for expansion of its Internet advertising services.

Investors include America Online, Attractor Investment Management and Hambrecht & Quist. Financial specifics were not disclosed.

AOL’s investment in AdForce is part of a strategic partnership between the two companies, under which AOL acquired a worldwide license for AdForce, a centralized ad management service.

Chuck Berger, chairman and CEO of AdForce, said that the additional funds will support the expansion of AdForce’s business of providing centralized Internet advertising services to Web publishers and online advertisers.

AdForce is a full-service online advertising management system that designed to provide complete Internet advertising services for multiple sites from a centralized server. In addition to its ad delivery and targeting capabilities, AdForce also includes a full range of advertising management features, such as ad scheduling, inventory management, media planning, reporting, auditing and billing. It also includes AdSecure, AdForce’s proprietary method of insuring the privacy and security of Internet users who receive targeted advertising.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome America Online, Attractor Investment Management, Hambrecht & Quist, and all new investors in AdForce,” said Berger. “These new investors join existing investors such as Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, 21st Century Venture Capital Fund, Convergence Partners and Metromail Corp.

Founded in 1994, AdForce said it now delivers more than one billion ads monthly for clients.

Separately, the company introduced a new version of its ad management software, and said it added as clients 2Can Media, Centraal, Fortune City, GoTo.com, Hoovers, Impulse Buy Network, Magnet Interactive, Red Herring, Upside, and the Virtual Music Vault.

The product upgrade is called AdForce for Advertisers, which now incorporates features that make it possible for ad agencies to plan, schedule, launch, modify and track online campaigns through a point-and-click desktop interface in near real time, the company said.

“AdForce for Advertisers was specifically designed to work the way an agency does,” said Christine Mueller, vice president of marketing and business development for AdForce. “Agencies can now control all aspects of their online advertising through a single system.”

Once a campaign is running, ad agencies no longer have to scan the Web, checking sites to make sure their campaigns are running. AdForce for Advertisers displays an icon on the desktop for all sites that have run a scheduled ad within the last four hours.

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