DataXu Raises $27M for Programmatic Marketing

DataXu just raised $27 million in a third round of funding led by Thomvest Ventures, the private VC of Thomson Reuters partner Peter Thomson. Current backers Atlas Venture, Flybridge Capital Partners and Menlo Ventures chipped in as well.

DataXu is a Boston-based firm that specializes in “programmatic marketing,” a way of reacting to consumer behavior fluctuations in real-time.  The MIT astronautics engineers coined the phrase founded the company, got their idea patented, and implemented the technology in a platform that is now used by more than 700 international brands.  Marketers are leveraging the DataXu’s DX3 platform to optimize and automate ad buying across multiple advertisement networks.

DataXu says that its revenue increased 700 percent in 2012, a growth rate attributed primarily to explosive internet demand from enterprise buyers.

“DataXu is using data science to redefine the way marketers build brands in a digital world,” said Mike Baker, CEO of DataXu. “In the era of digital and big data, it’s increasingly obvious that legacy ways of working in the advertising industry – including faith-based thinking, lack of transparency, and an inefficient supply chain — no longer make sense.  Our software helps marketers reduce the cost and complexity of marketing across multiple digital channels, while at the same time enabling them to build a much deeper and more actionable understanding of today’s empowered consumer.

Wikibon co-founder and chief analyst Dave Vellante had a chance to talk to Baker in August last year. The two talked in depth about what DataXu’s platform has to offer and  detailing the technology that makes it all happen: a near-real time analytics system  based on Hadoop HBase. The open-source platform is normally used to process large datasets over a period of time but the firm’s internal fork does the exact opposite – it reads and writes small chunks of data at an extremely rapid pace.