McAndrews on Madrona Ventures: Online Ad Investments Must Come With Tech

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Madrona Ventures may invest in more Internet ad start-ups now that former aQuantive CEO Brian McAndrews is on board, but it’s unlikely to take much interest in agency pure plays.

In a brief talk with ClickZ this morning, McAndrews said the VC firm would consider investing in startups with a services component, but he said there would have to be technology attached in some way. For instance, he said Madrona might look at an analytics firm with in-house data analysts.

He said, “Madrona has had some success,” with services firms. “They did invest in Avenue A. But there certainly would have to be a technology component for Madrona to be interested.”

Separately, McAndrews explained why, of all the agency acquisitions he oversaw while he was at the helm of aQuantive, none of those acquisitions involved a traditional agency. The reason, he said, was simple flexibility. “When pitching a client, is it better to find the right partner, or to be willing to work with one, than to say, here’s our guy and if you don’t like him, don’t pick us?” I think it’s safe to assume that’s a rhetorical question.

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