Real-time ad platform AppNexus has launched Twixt, a programmatic solution that aims to streamline the negotiation that happens prior to the execution of a digital ad buy.
Traditionally, digital ads are planned and transacted via email and phone, and processed with Excel and Word, which is time-consuming. Twixt enables ad buyers and sellers to conduct the whole process within a single system, from the initial request for proposal (RFP) to the final decision.
This is how Twixt works: When an ad buyer sends out RFPs through Twixt to a select number of ad sellers, each seller in that group will receive an email, with a link to the buyer’s RFP. They then have access to the system and send back their responses to the buyer. At the end of the process, the buyer can pick up a plan based on their needs, and export a final version of the negotiated plan into an Excel spreadsheet, formatted to work with another system. At the same time, the system stores information for the publishers, including ad specs and past proposal responses, so that sellers can track orders.
So far, Twixt is free, but in the future AppNexus could connect the software to ad servers and charge a percentage of dollars that go through the service.
AppNexus has a strong track record in handling the automation of Web display ads. It was the first exchange to offer real-time bidding, and eBay was its first customer. In late 2009, the company hired Michael Rubenstein, the head of Google’s exchange at the time, to be its president. In October 2010, Microsoft invested $50 million into AppNexus, and started selling its ad space via this real-time bidding platform.
The New York-based tech start-up is backed by $141 million in venture capital funding, and is expected to be valued at more than $1 billion. Prior to the launch of Twixt, AppNexus hired a new chief financial officer/chief operating officer Jonathan Hsu, indicating the company is preparing for an IPO.