Openads, which offers open source ad server software for Web sites to manage their online ad campaigns, is a 6 month old company that spun out of London based Unanimis. While Openads itself is only 6 months old, the open source ad server software its developing is based on open-source phpAdsNew, which has existed since 1999. Openads will make money by layering services on top of the core software.
Openads is a very popular ad server with 25,000 publishers on 100,000 sites in 140 different countries and in 20 languages. Openads has approximately 30 ad networks. Apparently, this open-source ad server delivers 60-100 billion page views a month, compared to industry-leader DoubleClick’s 300 billion.
More importantly, Openads just closed a $5 million Series A round led by Index Ventures (who also funded Skype, MySQL, and Zend), with participation from First Round Capital, Mangrove Capital Partners, and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures.
With this round of venture funding, Openads will be able to hire a core team of developers and enable important features such as PayPal integration and Self Sign-up that users have been requesting for a while but weren’t the focus before the spin off.
Openads is democratizing the ad network, where any website or blog can host the ad server and serve adds, rather than a few companies (aka Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft) hosting adds to websites and blogs.
$5 million wont be enough to take Google head-on, but it’s a good start!