Yahoo Makes Two Ad-Related Investments

Yahoo today made two separate investments in ad technology to improve its offerings to advertisers. The company has acquired rich media technology provider AdInterax, and invested in auction-based ad marketplace Right Media, giving Yahoo a 20 percent stake in that company. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

AdInterax is a hosted technology provider that enables non-technical users to create rich media ads through a drag-and-drop interface. Yahoo will use the AdInterax technology to build a self-service rich media creation tool for Yahoo advertisers. That platform is expected to be tested later this year, and rolled out in early 2007.

AdInterax’s team will be invited to move from its Troy, New York, office to Yahoo’s Sunnyvale headquarters and be integrated into Yahoo’s ad product development and marketing teams.

These solutions for marketers will help simplify the rich media creation and purchasing process, according to Greg Coleman, executive VP of global media sales at Yahoo. “Creativity in advertising is critical to the further adoption of the Internet as a marketing medium, and Yahoo is committed to giving marketers more creative choice and control over their ads,” he said in a statement.

These rich media creative assembly and campaign management tools will be made available to marketers at no charge as part of Yahoo’s graphical advertising offerings.

AdInterax will retain its relationships with publisher partners, which allow AdInterax to create rich media ads that are compatible with several sites in the Disney and IAC/InterActiveCorp networks, newspaper sites like DallasNews.com and Philly.com, and several gaming sites.

The second deal Yahoo announced today is an investment giving it a 20 percent stake in Right Media. Yahoo also takes a seat on the Right Media Exchange, where ad networks will soon be able to buy remnant inventory on Yahoo in a real-time auction, and resell it to their advertisers.

“Yahoo believes an open and transparent ad exchange is an innovative new distribution channel for non-premium inventory and encourages competition in the market,” Coleman said in a statement. “Participating in Right Media’s leading exchange is consistent with our strategy to extend Yahoo’s audience to additional marketers, and to help them deliver the right ad to the right person at the right time.”

In addition to Yahoo, Redpoint Ventures and other existing investors contributed to this second round of funding, which totaled $45 million. As part of the investment, Yahoo will name a member to Right Media’s board of directors.

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