Digital Dealmakers: Jayant Kadambi

Mar 19, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The Player: Jayant Kadambi, co-founder and CEO of YuMe Networks

The Play: YuMe Networks opened its doors for business earlier this month after two years of technology development. The company is a broadband video advertising network that helps the new generation of Web sites to monetize their content. That will include streaming-video sites, peer-to-peer services, download-to-own sites, user-generated content destinations and even mobile video services. YuMe is reaching out to Web sites to include them in the network. Then it will sell ads for brand marketers across those sites.

The Pitch: YuMe Networks’ technology is designed to help monetize Web video, especially the user-generated content that advertisers often are reluctant to pair with their commercials. That’s because YuMe’s technology scans and “maps” videos from all its partner sites in advance and groups videos into two buckets: questionable content, including material that may violate copyright, and content that’s safe to advertise in front of. YuMe also offers reports for advertisers on their ads. “We will show you which content your ad is going against,” he said. “We are extending your TV buy online.”

In the Mix: Mr. Kadambi is seeking Web sites and online video services, such as Metacafe, to bring into the network. He’s also talking to brand advertisers. Look for announcements of deals in the download and peer-to-peer sector in the next few weeks. By year end, he expects to have hundreds of Web publishers and about 10 to 20 advertisers on board. YuMe will be inserting ads in about 10 million videos a day, Mr. Kadambi predicted.

The Money Guys: Mr. Kadambi co-founded the company in 2004 with about $1 million in funding from friends and family. In June 2006, YuMe raised $6 million in venture funding from Accel Partners, Khosla Ventures and BV Capital. He expects to raise additional money in a round later this year. The company likely will become profitable at the end of this year or early next.

The Pros: Big media and small sites alike are looking for ways to monetize Web video. Research firm eMarketer predicted online video ad spending will grow 89 percent this year to $775 million, up from $410 million last year.

The Cons: “A lot of people are still worried about the safety of the content online,” Mr. Kadambi said. “Is it copyrighted or pirated? That’s why we lead with that-when you buy on YuMe Networks it will be a transparent buy. It will be a safe buy.”

Background: Mr. Kadambi, 40, was born in Bombay, India, and raised in Southern India. He moved to the United States to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering. He currently lives in Los Altos, Calif., with his wife and child. Prior to YuMe, he served as a VP at Netopia, a maker of DSL equipment, and also worked for AMD, a semiconductor company, and AT&T Bell Labs.

Who Knew: Mr. Kadambi was a top-two-ranked tennis player on the East Coast in college until he injured his shoulder during a serve. ?