OpenAds – $15.5M Funding Series B and Hosted Advertising Management

Openads - the web's largest ad-space communityOpenAds, formerly phpAdsNew is an Open Source advertising management script, or at least it was. For a good overview I recommend Tims excellent introduction to OpenAds.

But that has changed somewhat overnight

OpenAds are adding a free hosted version of their sofware, though it is currently in closed beta.

Even with the improvements they made with version 2.4, and certainly those changes were critical for this move to make it more resource efficient, they are going to need some hefty infrastructure in place to serve all the ad units for multiple sites.
So that is one area the new series b funding by new investor Accel Partners will be used.

The big questions are who they are going to decide to go up against, and how are they going to generate revenue?

OpenAds Competitors

Potential Adserver competitors on the upscale side include:-

24/7 Real Media Open AdStream ACE Serve
Engage AdManager
ValueClick MOJO Publisher

But at the same time they could also be looking to compete with or effectively wipe out the lower end market


AdSense Detective (monthly fee)
AdSense Gold (one time fee)
AdSense Tracker (one time fee)

It is really a question of who they decide they want to compete against

Google have the potential to offer a definitive solution that could be looked on as conclusive proof for protecting your Adsense account, and combining Analytics and Adsense with Doubleclick would have many advantages, though that level of advertising integration would be scary.

The low end market is pretty much underserved, the majority of bloggers and web publishers do not use any advertising management solution, and a great number probably don’t use tracking either.

A hosted solution is ideal because it lowers the barrier for entry – you could use the code on any platform without server knowledge, even for bloggers using blogspot.

How Would They Earn Money?

  • Advertising other affiliate programs
  • 2 Tier affiliate programs
  • Middleman for CPM based advertising and affiliate JVs
  • Become their own affiliate network
  • Additional payments for “pro” features

They won’t be able to make any money from Adsense referrals as I believe OpenAds is UK based, though it is always possible to change commercial location.

Scott from OpenAds says in the comments on the blog

Openads will always be GPL, and a download version will always be available. The hosted version is a simpler way for publishers to get up and running without the hassle of installing, configuring, maintaining, etc.

– The hosted version of Openads is free (and of course the downloadable version). In the future, we may offer commercial services to users of either version of openads (downloadable or hosted) if they want additional support.

– We will try to release new features to both the downloadable and hosted versions at the same time.

Like James mentioned above, this is a major step that we are undertaking, and we are very excited about future prospects for Openads. I know that our team has been very focused on this project, and they have been doing a tremendous job so far.

We look forward to offering this huge new offering to more and more people as our beta rollout progresses.

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