Bits & Bytes for January 26, 2004

Eyeblaster Secures $8 Million Funding Round

Eyeblaster closed an $8 million round of venture funding from New York-based Insight Venture Partners. The rich media provider said it would use the money to expand operations, sales and marketing efforts while moving into “new growth markets.”

Deven Parekh, managing director at Insight Venture Partners, will join Eyeblaster’s board of directors.

“Eyeblaster’s strong management team and long term business plan has positioned them for tremendous growth and makes them an ideal company for us to invest in and support,” said Parekh.

Despite the challenge to its business model posed by the 2003 release of DoubleClick’s Motif rich media management product, Eyeblaster achieved double-digit profit growth during 2003 and opened four offices worldwide. The company served 600 campaigns in the fourth quarter alone, a 171 percent increase over the same period in 2002.

DoubleClick Offers MediaVisor to U.K. Clients

DoubleClick began offering a version of its MediaVisor workflow management product for clients in the U.K. The tool supports and streamlines media plan development, RFP management and ad trafficking.

In addition to its hosted campaign management tools, MediaVisor offers a searchable database of 270 U.K. sites, along with technical and qualitative information on major media destinations such as Amazon, AOL, eBay and Google.

DoubleClick began offering MediaVisor to U.S. clients in May 2002. The ad technology firm said clients booked $260 million in U.S. media using the tool during 2003, and RFPs surpassed 7,000.

“Digital media activity is typically more time consuming to implement than traditional media, so the greater efficiencies we can generate as an industry, will increase the medium’s attractiveness to advertisers,” said Tom Peacock, managing partner of Outrider, an interactive agency and customer of DoubleClick’s DART for advertisers product.

SMS Connects Radio Listeners with DJs

SMS developer Vibes Media has launched an instant response texting platform for radio promotions. Called iRadio, the tool lets program directors and on-air personalities customize contests and promotions, as well as send tailored responses to listeners.

The platform has some clear advantages over having people phone in. Listeners can’t be shut out by busy signals, and station managers can more easily assess the effectiveness and response rates of their promotions. Additionally, each message to the listener can be tagged with a brand-specific “powered by” message, which should please sponsors.

“Text messaging is perfect for marrying radio’s inherent mobile nature to its mobile, phone-carrying audience,” said Jack Philbin, president of Vibes Media.

A beta version of the platform was implemented last summer by Minneapolis FM station KTTB/B96.

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