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Second acts: Industry veterans start new Web ad firms

By   /   Monday, November 1st, 2010  /   Comments Off on Second acts: Industry veterans start new Web ad firms

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Amid a resurgence of tri-county startups in online advertising technology, Dave Gross, one of the industry’s most successful veterans, is back in the game with a new venture.

Gross co-founded Fastclick in Santa Barbara. After a successful initial public offering in 2005, it was bought by Westlake Village-based ValueClick for $220 million. Since then, Gross has quietly invested with several regional startups.

But with Connexity, Gross is diving back into the digital media and advertising business. The new venture will use social networking and recommendation engine database concepts — the same stuff that predicts who you might know on Facebook and what movies might appeal to you on Netflix — to make digital ads more relevant to the users they’re served to. Contrast that to older technologies, which tried different campaigns on different websites and with different creative themes.

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