Programmatic Company of the Year 2015: The candidates | M&M Global

Programmatic Company of the Year 2015: The candidates

It is down to M&M Global readers to decide which programmatic company they believe should be crowned International Programmatic Company of the Year 2015.

The M&M team selected eight international programmatic players that have demonstrated stand-out business performance and embodied the pioneering, innovative spirit in one of marketing and media’s new frontiers.

Here we run through each of the candidates – click here to cast your vote.


DataXu’s meteoric rise shares a similar trajectory to that of programmatic. It can also boast experience based on genuine stratospheric achievement, rather than mere metaphoric hyperbole, having been set up by a group of scientists who wrote the “combinatorial language” that guided Nasa’s Mars mission plans.

Back on Earth, the company recently made three senior appointments across the US and Europe. Jan Heumueller former vice-president of sales, Europe, was appointed to succeed Sacha Berlik to run DataXu’s European operation based in Cologne; meanwhile, Chris Le May, former director of sales for the UK, became country manager, UK and Nordics.

The programmatic platform recently received recognition from independent analysts Forrester Research, which awarded it the highest score in the buying, data and analytics category of its ‘The Forrester Wave: Demand Side Platforms (DSP) Q2 2015 report.

The Exchange Lab

While The Exchange Lab describes itself as the “world’s largest programmatic digital media marketplace”, that does not mean it chooses to rest on its laurels.

The company recently hired Indigo’s Edward Lee as vice-president of its North American operations, while in September last year it launched its Proteus platform, which is built on the same model used for trading by banks.

Clients are clearly impressed by The Exchange Lab. After working together for a year on a consultancy basis, this month saw Virgin Holidays solidify its relationship with the company and take the unusual step of applying marketing automation to its CRM strategy and make its first foray into programmatic.


MediaMath resides in an industry – fairly or unfairly – often associated with workaholism.

Yet jobs website Glassdoor recently ranked the marketing data specialist 3rd in its list of top UK employers for work/life balance. MediaMath scored 4.6 out of 5, with positive feedback from existing and former employees. One staff member said the firm “respects personal and work life balance, enriching both simultaneously”.

It’s a philosophy that resonates across the business, which employs more than 600 staff across offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Sao Paolo, London, Paris, Singapore and Tokyo.

The firm is led by chief executive Joe Zawadzki, a recognised pioneer in online advertising, while it recently employed a vice-president and global head of communications as its growing size and diversity calls for consistent marketing comms.

Rocket Fuel

As its name suggests, Rocket Fuel is for many clients a key ingredient in powering marketing into new, lucrative realms.

Programmatic marketing platform provider Rocket Fuel, which uses artificial intelligence to optimise brands’ marketing ROI, is also respected for its charitable work, and was named by the San Francisco Business Times a 2015 Top Bay Area Corporate Philanthropist.

Having floated its stock during an IPO in 2013, the business continues to invest in growth, a strategy that saw the Redwood City-based firm buy New York-based ad tech firm [x+1] for $230m last August.

Rubicon Project

Los Angeles-based ad tech firm Rubicon Project this month reported a strikingly strong second financial quarter, with revenue up 88% to $53m, with the company having closed its acquisition of Chango in March.

The business says that its key focuses moving forward are Automated Guaranteed and mobile. The latter now accounts for more than 20% of its inventory, while it recently added to its guaranteed inventory after signing agreements with publishers The Economist, Daily Mail, Viacom and eBay.

Rubicon Project forecasts continuing growth, predicting revenues between $63m and $65m in the next quarter, while its expansion into Washington DC spoke emphatically about its aspirations surrounding political clients.


Ad management platform provider Sizmek this year bolstered its mobile and programmatic platform with the acquisition of demand-side platform (DSP) StrikeAd.

Headed up by Neil Nguyen, its chief executive and president, Sizmek is the world’s largest independent third-party ad server and works with more than 3,400 agencies, more than 17,000 brands and 22,000 global web publishers, serving ads in 60 countries.

It continues to innovate, with the launch this month of video autoplay on mobiles which allows advertisers to produce soundless video trailers on mobile display ads that play immediately an ad loads without the need for consumer interaction.


Programmatic video specialist SpotXchange became something of a symbol of the convergence of old and new media last year when TV media owner RTL Group acquired a majority (65%) stake in the business in a $144m deal.

Founded in 2007, SpotXchange offers brands access to more than 200m unique views across its inventory network of partner.

Another testament to its prospects for growth, SpotXchange has been on something of a hiring spree of late, which has seen it bolster global operations. The business recently announced the appointment of Leon Siotis, from ad tech firm Brightroll, as managing director for its UK and Southern Europe operations.

Siotis’s appointment followed that of Elwin Gastelaars as MD for Benelux and the Nordics, while Stefan Beckman was made MD for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


TubeMogul sharpened its political teeth recently when it appointed Matthew Dybwad to front its new office based in the US capital and seat of federal government, Washington DC.

Meanwhile, the company, which went public last year, is adding display advertising to its platform, meaning that clients will be able to run programmatic video and display ads from the same platform. TubeMogul said that over 40 brands and agencies have already signed up for the new display offering.

In a testament to the company’s strong profile, TubeMogul raised $83m in a secondary market offering earlier this summer. And co-founder and chief executive Brett Wilson remains adamant that its ‘independent’ offering will stand it in good stead over the coming years.

The M&M Global Awards 2015 gala ceremony will take place at Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane on Thursday 3 September. Click here to book your tickets and tables to attend.

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