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Beeswax Raises $11 Million Series A funding, Aims To Change The AdTech Landscape

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Beeswax has recently announced $11 million Series A funding round led by RRE and the Foundry Group. This funding will enable them to grow their infrastructure in the US and Europe and to continue with building out their Bidder-as-a-Service offering. Below is our interview with Ari Paparo, CEO at Beeswax:


Q: Ari, how did the idea behind Beeswax come about?

A: I’ve been in the ad tech business for over 10 years. And since the dawn of the programmatic era I’ve gotten numerous phone calls from CEOs of ad tech companies looking for advice on bidding technology. I noticed that there were a bunch of custom development shops working on this problem, but there weren’t any product offerings that could give the customer the ability to “roll their own” RTB bidder without reinventing the wheel. So I got together with two former colleagues from Google and we built the product that the market wanted.

Q: Tell us something more about Bidder-as-a-Service, how does it work?

A: In order to buy ads on the programmatic ad exchanges (like Google’s AdX), you need to build a number of technologies, none of which are easy. You need to connect to the exchanges. You need to filter and match the incoming auctions to your business needs. You need to keep track of how often each user sees an ad in order to “frequency cap”. You need to keep track of budget in real-time across geographic regions. You need to match your users to the third-party cookies. etc etc. All of this is *before* you do anything custom or distinct to give your buying strategies an advantage.

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Beeswax solves this problem. With the Beeswax Bidder-as-a-Service, the customer gets all the plumbing on day 1, including a UI, a REST API, data pipelines, etc. But they then can deploy their own code in our cloud to customize and extend what we do so they can build a truly custom bidding operation.

Q: What are key features of your product?

A: There are a lot of platforms out there for buying ads programmatically. We have three key differentiators to our Bidder-as-a-Service platform:

1) We are fully transparent, meaning the customer can literally see all the data we can see. This is distinguished from most “black box” or “grey box” platforms where the customer’s insight is limited;

2) We have flat pricing based on capacity rather than spend. Everyone else in the industry charges a percentage of spend, meaning the customer pays more as they grow. With Beeswax we charge a flat monthly fee based largely on capacity. It is like “AWS for Ad Tech”, where you pay for the servers you use, no more.

3) We are the only company in ad tech that lets our clients write their own algorithms in whatever language they choose. We have customers using our system for deep learning, and others for extremely accurate geo-fencing. It is up to the customer to determine what they want to accomplish.

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Q: You’ve recently announced a $11 Million Series A funding round; what are your plans?

A: We plan on using the funds to expand in the US and Europe, and to grow the team from our very small base of 12 people.

Q: What about your pricing plans? How did you figure out how to price your product?

A: Like I mentioned earlier, the biggest difference about our approach is our flat pricing. We can deploy a bidder for a starting price of $7500/month, which is radically cheaper than any other option out there.

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Q: What’s the best thing about Beeswax that people might not know about?

A: Our logo looks like a tie fighter from Star Wars.

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