LightBoxTV Deal Now Live On Platform; Invest In European Startups, As US Ad Tech Could Soon Be Illegal; Xandr Wins Netflix Lottery
This is the FirstPartyCapital weekly newsletter. It covers news and updates about the FirstPartyCapital fund and its portfolio companies.
BIG DEAL ALERT: LightBoxTV Is Now Live As Syndicate Deal On Platform
We are excited to launch our latest syndicate deal, LightBoxTV. It is now live here for all of our angel syndicate investors:
LightboxTV is a startup focused on the aggregation and media activation across a fragmented TV market.
Think of it as the enterprise Finecast (WPP’s media arbitrage solution) for agency groups, indies and in-housed brands.
Here’s a top line of the tech solution:
The company is focusing on the criminally ignored $85 billion dollars of the TV sector. LightBoxTv aggregates inventory and activates media across CTV, siloed walled-garden inventory, AVOD, linear TV et al.
Finecast has already established the market for this new TV ad tech segment. Lightbox is the independent enterprise option.
The founders are ad tech veterans: Mark Giblin, Dean Cussell and Simon Macson have huge experience in product development and building ad tech businesses.
Lightbox straddles the world between Mediaocean and The Trade Desk - in terms of activation and workflow management for TV. Nobody in ad tech is attacking this opportunity.
Why should you invest?
Massive TAM (Total Addressable Market), $85 billion - which is being ignored by the majority of ad tech.
Enterprise SaaS platform versus the media arbitrage solution offered by its largest competitor, Finecast.
Strong team with huge experience building and scaling ad tech (see above).
Independent agencies and holding groups are already beta testing LightboxTV’s enterprise platform.
Likely to be acquired quickly by a bigger ad tech player looking to knit the fractured TV ecosystem together.
EIS coverage available to UK investors.
We will also be investing from the fund, but we wanted to give the syndicate a chance to get a taste. So, don’t hesitate, log in now to get more detail.
Investing In European Ad Tech Is A No Brainer
Did you know that technically Google Analytics is illegal in a number of large EU markets?
Regulators are pushing for it to be shut in Italy, Germany and France. Google is even thinking about setting up a separate European company with no server connection.
The SCC (‘Standard Contractual Clauses’) that underpins the legality of data transfers between the US and Europe is not being seen as GDPR-compliant by EU data protection authorities. There is a good here deep-dive on it here on VideoWeek.
This all has serious implications for any ad tech business transferring data between the US and EU. Is ad tech now in breach of GDPR? If and when DPAs (Data Protection Authorities) get around to lifting the lid on data transfers by US ad tech, will some of those products be banned? There is a very real possibility.
We could see some companies withdraw completely from the market - which could be a boon to homegrown ad tech (as summed up here by AdExchanger).
By this GDPR interpretation, Microsoft, Amazon or practically any American cloud data and service provider is illegal. (Thus the reasoning behind speculation that Google could split out Google Analytics into a stand-alone European company.)
The GDPR may be a privacy and data protection law, but it’s going to be put to use as an antitrust cudgel, too, since prohibiting major US tech companies could energize homegrown European tech.
To summarise: invest in European ad tech. And the best way to do that? Invest in the FirstPartyCapital fund.
Xandr Wins The Netflix Lottery
Only 12 months ago Xandr was getting hammered by negative reporting. People were questioning the tech. People were questioning its future. Its owner, AT&T, who had high hopes for the Xandr business, wanted to get rid of it.
Flash forward 12 months, and you have a very different picture. Xandr is now part of “cuddly” monopolist, Microsoft.
Microsoft rationale for buying was to power ad monetisation across its very sizable media business - as well as pick up more third party business.
That plan seems to be progressing nicely - especially on the latter. This week it announced a partnership with Netflix to power the streaming giant’s nascent ad business.
This is a huge win for Xandr, considering the other vendors that were in the mix.
Now, you might be hearing that Microsoft won the deal because of its cloud infrastructure or some other internal product. Nope. Microsoft won this deal because of Xandr - winning with great ad tech and best-in-class talent.
So, before you write off any company in the industry, be sure to remember the Xandr tale. It often pays not to listen to the title-tattle bullshit in ad tech circles.
Have a great weekend, readers.
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