There are so many people to thank – our early investors (especially Ben, Marc, Ron, and Josh), our mentors and advisors (especially David and Dwight), and our board (Brian, Ed, Mike, Dave, and Chip). I also want to thank all of the clients and partners who have helped us build the company and continue to trust us with their business. It’s a responsibility and privilege we don’t take lightly.
But of course, the biggest thank you is to the AppNexus team. Your passion and commitment to our customers, to our vision, and to each other is the foundation for everything we do.
The obvious question is “what are we going to do with all of this money?” As I’ve mentioned publicly, we didn’t need to raise money to run the business. In addition, we decided not to take any money for management or employee liquidity, as we see huge upside opportunity over the next few years.
On the other hand, Mike Nolet and I started AppNexus to create a great company that could transform (and dare I say fix) the complex, fragmented online advertising ecosystem. This investment allows us to accelerate our efforts in four key areas:
We have a lot of ideas for how we can make our platform better – some big, some small. We are going to hire hundreds of engineers over the coming years to build the next generation of our platform (know an engineer that wants to change the world at Internet scale? Click here!) We have some fantastic features coming out over the next couple of months (which we previewed at the AppNexus Summit in November) and have an aggressive roadmap for the rest of the year. It’s a great time to be an AppNexus customer!
We will continue to invest in cleaning up the advertising marketplace. We’re proud of our anti-piracy stance, and our 5x volume growth this year indicates that you don’t need to serve on BitTorrent sites to be an ad platform company. We are investing heavily in fighting fraud, porn, malvertising, and malicious toolbars, and we are actively working on viewability tools.
Every week, I watch a group of new AppNexians go through the onboarding cycle. We’re investing heavily in professional development, with extensive onboarding and training for new hires and formal training programs to help employees grow into management roles. We’ve hired incredible people at every level of the organization, including the executive team. I’m excited to use this investment round to make AppNexus an even better place to work.
We’re embarking on the third generation of the ad exchange era. The first generation was the initial Right Media Exchange which transformed the performance ecosystem. The second generation, RTB, created an ecosystem around data and audience. AppNexus has two major projects in the works for the third generation, and we’ll be announcing one at the AppNexus Summit in San Francisco on April 10th. With access to more than $100MM, we will be transforming the industry for years to come.
In summary, the best team with the best technology, best investors, and best clients just got more money to continue to build the best advertising ecosystem ever. Sweet.