Sunday, September 21, 2008

BlueKai: More Than Just a Pretty Face, er... Consumer Play

Last week I covered BlueKai, a new company that seems to embrace my view of a consumer-controlled data world.

I had the pleasure of catching up with BlueKai CEO, Omar Tawakol, at the OMMA conference in NY on Friday. Omar and I had met when he worked at Medio, a mobile search company. Prior to Medio, Omar was the CMO at Revenue Science, a behavioral targeting firm.

Within a few minutes of talking with Omar, it became clear that the promise of BlueKai was more than helping consumers take a more active role in the data-for-advertising exchange. BlueKai can plug its data into virtually any open-source platform to provide richer data profiles and enable better ad targeting.

Rather than put all its eggs in the consumer basket and scramble to amass a large enough audience to make itself meaningful to advertisers, BlueKai is focusing on large sources of data already available through aggregators such as e-commerce retailers. Tapping these channels, it can deliver proof of concept and create relationships with advertisers and publishers. Once those are established (and the revenue is rolling) BlueKai can turn its attention directly to consumers with its robust and respectful privacy functionality.

Seems like a smart model and Omar has assembled a talented team. Looking forward to watching BlueKai set sail in this blue ocean.

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