Programmatic, DSP, SSP. What does it all mean? Ads are being bought on exchanges but there is very little automation, efficiency, and transparency in the process. NYIAX is the first guaranteed advertising contract exchange that leverages technology used on Wall Street for the purchase and sale of display inventory. Partnering with Nasdaq has allowed the startup founded in 2016 to leverage some of the most sophisticated financial technology including leveraging blockchain and the creation of futures ad contracts. This results in disintermediation for the adtech industry for bother advertisers and publishers.
AlleyWatch spoke with cofounder Carolina Abenante about the startup and discussed the company’s most recent round of funding,
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised a Seed round of funding from Westpark Capital totaling $5.6M.
NYIAX is the world’s first advertising contract exchange. Powered by Nasdaq technology, the blockchain-enabled platform combines financial matching engine and trading concepts with advertising technology to enable publishers and advertisers to buy, sell and re-trade future premium advertising inventory as guaranteed contracts. Led by a team of distinguished advertising and financial technology executives, the exchange provides media buyers with a transparent and trusted way to secure and re-trade premium future advertising inventory, while enabling publishers to increase revenue by improving sell-through, retain higher CPMs, and reduce fees.
What inspired you to start the company?
We saw that no one had taken financial best practices and applied them to advertising. Furthermore, we identified a problem in the market and turned it into a business opportunity. By leveraging the proven financial technology, NYIAX is able to provide a unique solution that can solve many core issues with the current advertising marketplace.
How is it different?
NYIAX is the first advertising marketplace fully integrated with Blockchain. NYIAX’s use of Blockchain is a direct benefit of its partnership with Nasdaq. Nasdaq has provided NYIAX with Blockchain capability through its partnership and NYIAX is the first asset class in the world to use Blockchain through a financial exchange.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
Advertising Agencies, Brands, and Publishers make up our primary market. In support of these direct primary participants, we also see an opportunity at this time for liquidity providers (those providing capital into the exchange) and are open to engaging in those business conversations.
Market size depends on media type – per eMarketer data, Digital is projected to be almost $94B in 2018.
What’s your business model?
NYIAX will charge transparently based on a transaction fee. The fee will be taken from the seller (the publisher) for all advertising transactions and will be prorated based on delivery.
What does the future of adtech in NYC hold?
We believe that adtech will move toward more of a financial technology model; whereby, advertising will be sold with more precise trading features. This means bringing financial rigor into a very broken system in order to promote transparency, trust, and accountability on each contract and or trade.
What was the funding process like?
We enjoyed meeting with prospective investors and partners and the collective excitement when they started to share our vision of what NYIAX means for the future of the industry. Aside from the funding, it is always valuable to get outside perspectives from bright people and we welcomed those opportunities.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
We are thankful not to have any challenges during fundraise. We’re proud to have been oversubscribed in both our funding rounds by over 50%.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Blockchain, Fintech and Nasdaq were the primary factors.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Over the next several months, our plans are to generate revenue! User adoption and matching buyers with sellers to generate order volume is key. The portions of the advertising market we plan to tackle first are digital and video on demand. TV and out of home are big client asks already, so our plan for expansion is to follow our product roadmap and our client requests. It’s important to remember that what we are doing is also not limited to advertising. In fact, the technology IP and partnership we have in place supports our ability to extend what we do in other markets too.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Right now is a great time to raise capital if you have a good idea and a solution that will solve real industry challenges. Put pen to paper and start looking for seed investors, because there are many of them out there.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Post-raise we are looking forward to returning our focus to growing revenue and user adoption. We also expect to have some more exciting company announcements in the near term – so stay tuned!
Where is your favorite fall destination in the city?
Southampton – Nobu!