MediaGamma Secures Seed Funding for Automated Digital Ad Futures & Options Exchange

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UCL Business PLC and angel investors provide backing to UK tech start-up to further advance the programmatic advertising sector-- one of the fastest growing sectors in digital media. MediaGamma's next generation technology will help brands, agencies, and publishers better manage their investments in programmatic advertising.

Now that programmatic advertising represents nearly half of all display ad spend, the time is right to widen opportunities for programmatic traders to manage risk and for publishers to secure revenue in advance.

MediaGamma, the first automated futures and options exchange for digital advertising, today announced the closing of their seed round just after launching their pilot. The company is focused on bringing new trading methodologies and products to the programmatic digital advertising sector— a global marketplace that will reach approximately US $53 billion by 2018.*

Much like modern financial markets, MediaGamma offers the ability for buyers and sellers to agree on a price and volume for future real-time media placements across multiple digital channels. MediaGamma’s platform is currently being piloted with a number of participants.

Seed round investors include UCL Business PLC and a syndicate of tech-sector focused angel investors from both advertising technology and finance backgrounds. This round augments MediaGamma’s £200k in grants from the UK government’s Innovate UK grant programme. Accelerate Cambridge has also provided early support to the venture.

Rael Cline, MediaGamma Co-founder and CEO, stated: “Now that programmatic advertising represents nearly half of all display ad spend, the time is right to widen opportunities for programmatic traders to manage risk and for publishers to secure revenue in advance. We’re excited to begin a new stage of MediaGamma’s development, working ever more closely with brands, agencies, publishers and industry trade bodies to develop products and use cases that solve real material problems.”

Dr Jun Wang, Co-founder and CTO, added: “MediaGamma’s technology is directly derived from the world-class research developed in the Department of Computer Science at UCL in Computational Advertising and Big Data Analytics. Combined with MediaGamma’s commercial application of state of the art large-scale machine intelligence, we will provide new capabilities for media trading on a global scale.”

Jonathan Gittos, representing MediaGamma’s angel investors, commented: “I’m proud to back innovative companies like MediaGamma. Since transactions in the programmatic advertising sector have reached such large amounts globally, the time is right for the next generation of programmatic trading solutions. MediaGamma does just that.”

Some of MediaGamma’s other early backers and board members include John Taysom, CEO and Founder of the Greenhouse Fund and RVC (originally Reuters Venture Capital) and now prominent Angel investor, and Angus Bankes, Founder and CTO of Moreover Technologies (sold to Verisign) and current CIO of Skimlinks.

*The global programmatic marketplace is forecast to reach US $53 billion by 2018. Source: Global Media Suppliers Advertising Revenue Forecast, September 2014, MAGNA GLOBAL.

About MediaGamma
The first automatic futures and options exchange for digital media, UK tech start-up, MediaGamma is transforming the way digital media is valued, traded, and measured. Established in 2014 at the intersection of London’s tech, advertising, and finance hubs, MediaGamma’s customers include some of the UK’s leading brands, agencies, and publishers.

MediaGamma provides its partners with greater transparency and control when they buy and sell programmatic advertising by offering an accurate, ROI-based view of the immediate and long-term value of inventory. Brands, agencies, and publishers can also engage in programmatic direct or upfront inventory purchases and sales on the MediaGamma platform, mitigating price volatility and ensuring brand safety.

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Julian Grainger
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