Former Tacoda exec joins ad network that can see into your very soul

In the middle ages there was alchemy — the fool's science of turning ordinary metals into gold. Today, there's ad targeting technology. See, it used to be marketers bought ads next to content they figured it would be good for their brands to be seen supporting. Nowadays, technologists think they can make its so that content doesn't matter, so long as their ad-targeting technology knows exactly who's looking at the screen that content is on. As a result, we've got contextual targeting, behavioral targeting and now, semantic targeting from likes of such company's as Peer39, which in in an embargoed funding announcement set for June 30, claims it can "understand content meaning and sentiment, enabling precision targeting down to the page level so that display ads appear on pages most relevant to their message." Believers include investors Canaan Partners, Dawntreader Ventures and JP Morgan as well ex-Tacoda VP Matthew S. Goldstein who's joined the company as COO. Non-believers include, well, us. The full release is below, but trust us, its less entertaining than Ben Jonson's cozening characters.

Peer39 Launches World’s Most Advanced
Semantic Advertising Platform



Former TACODA SVP Matthew S. Goldstein Joins
as Chief Operating Officer



NEW YORK (June 30, 2008) Peer39 today announced the launch of SemanticMatch™, the world’s most advanced semantic advertising platform. Based on natural language processing and machine learning, Peer39’s patented algorithms understand content meaning and sentiment, enabling precision targeting down to the page level so that display ads appear on pages most relevant to their message. SemanticMatch™ gives brands the necessary protection to target any page, including inside social media, and opens entire new targeting capabilities to online brand and performance advertisers.



Matthew S. Goldstein, who has been Senior Vice President, Revenue Operations for TACODA since June 2006, has joined Peer39 as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. He will report to Amiad Solomon, CEO, and be based in New York.



“Matthew was an integral part of the success that TACODA enjoyed as it was purchased by AOL, and with MTV Networks’ online operations,” says Mr. Solomon. “We are pleased to have someone with his depth of experience joining us in establishing Peer39 as the market leader in semantic advertising solutions.”



“Semantic targeting is widely seen to be the next stage of advertising technology, beyond contextual or behavioral. What makes Peer39 different is that ads are targeted to the meaning of pages rather than to pre-selected keywords. The problem with keywords, as is well-known, is that they can be highly irrelevant to the actual page and conversation happening,” says Mr. Solomon. “We eliminate the errors that can plague keyword targeting and unlike other forms of online targeting, Peer39’s SemanticMatch™ does not set cookies or track user behavior.”



“When I studied the next generation of ad targeting technology, it was clear immediately that Peer39 has taken granular targeting to its deepest level by understanding page meaning and sentiment,” says Mr. Goldstein.



For publishers, including portals, news sites, ad networks, social media, blogs, and forums, Peer39's technology effectively monetizes a wide range of online content and increases the value of content pages that grow revenue and ROI. Using SemanticMatch™, advertisers simply decide where they seek to reach users in the marketing sales funnel – anywhere from awareness (“autos”) to consideration (“SUV”) to preference (“hybrid”) to purchase and retention – and the system automatically targets their ads to relevant pages, without the need for keyword targeting or setting cookies.



In addition, the company announced that it had closed $8 million in Series B financing with Canaan Partners as the lead investor and with participation from existing investors, Dawntreader Ventures and JP Morgan. “Advertisers and publishers continue to seek better, more effective ways to reach and market to consumers online,” says Warren Lee, principal at Canaan Partners. “With past investments in innovative online advertising companies such as DoubleClick and Tremor Media, we here at Canaan are excited to be working with the Peer39 team to further develop its unique technologies and to scale its business.”



Finally, Peer39 announced its advisory board consisting of Eytan Elbaz (co-founder of Applied Semantics, inventor of AdSense), Daniel Jaye (former President of TACODA), and Daniel T. Ciporin (former Chairman and CEO of Shopping.com-eBay).



Peer39 (www.peer39.com) is the global leader in semantic advertising solutions. Based on natural language processing and machine learning, Peer39’s patented algorithms understand page meaning and sentiment, and deliver the most relevant and effective brand safe online advertising. Headquartered in New York City, Peer39 maintains a research and development center in Israel. Peer39 Labs conducts primary research in semantic web technologies resulting in a number of patents covering its technology and business practices.