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Sky Invests in Programmatic Ad Tech Firm

Sky Plc is getting more involved in the programmatic ad tech game via a $10 million strategic investment in Boston-based DataXu, a maker of marketing analytics, data management and media activation software.

Founded in 2009, DataXu specializes in “programmatic marketing” -- automated, data-based planning and trading of ads across multiple devices and formats. Its customers include well-known brands such as Bose, Lexus, Ford , 3M, Mercedes-Benz, Vodafone and UnityMedia, the German cable operator that’s part of the Liberty Global empire. DataXu claims that its platform can analyze and optimize buying decisions on over 100 billion digital advertising opportunities daily.

With the latest funding, DataXu has raised $76 million so far, per TechCrunch.

Sky said its ad sales division, Sky Media, will also collaborate with DataXu to “explore a number of new opportunities,” including extending the reach of its new cross-screen Sky AdVance product. In 2014, Sky Media launched Sky AdSmart, a product tailored for niche/smaller brands.

"This investment will help us develop a deeper understanding of programmatic advertising, and play our part in shaping the market as it progresses," said Jamie West, Deputy MD at Sky Media, in a statement. "Combining Sky's knowledge, experience and innovation in advertising with DataXu's programmatic marketing expertise will provide exciting opportunities for both businesses, and most importantly, for Sky's advertising partners."

Sky has also made recent investments in OTT and streaming companies such as TV4 Entertainment, Pluto TV, Roku, Whistle Sports, and VR content startup Jaunt.