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Venture Capital News: TRUSTX Nabs $2.2M

NEW YORK, NY, TRUSTX, the industry's only purpose-driven, cooperative programmatic advertising marketplace, has secured $2.2 million in funding.
The new financing comes from CBSi, ESPN, Meredith, FOX News and NBCUniversal to accelerate the growth of its marketplace created to establish a sustainable future for trusted advertising. The new funds are structured to reinforce the long-term commitment these five top media brands have to the TRUSTX mission and purpose. In total, 35 premium publishers have signed on to TRUSTX as members, with 22 publishers and hundreds of advertisers now live and trading.

"Cleaning up programmatic advertising continues to be an incredibly challenging endeavor. Buyers and sellers tell us how important our work is, yet motivating behavioral change requires more than we ever imagined," said David Kohl, President and CEO, TRUSTX. "TRUSTX has 35 of the world's largest and most trusted publishers in our engine room. Their inventory at scale and this new capital commitment will accelerate our goal of delivering more working media value for every dollar of media investment in programmatic advertising."

"At MAGNA, and across the IPG Mediabrands portfolio, we remain steadfast in promoting trust and transparency. Resellers and fraud obfuscate the value of a buyer's media investment, which diminishes the overall value of programmatic as an efficient investment vehicle," explained Jon Mansell, SVP, Marketplace Innovation, MAGNA. "This financial commitment is a testament to the great work, strategic direction and demonstrated results TRUSTX delivers. We are excited to build upon our partnership with TRUSTX for the years to come and look forward to a time when TRUSTX standards become industry standards."

First launched in beta in May 2017, TRUSTX has demonstrated to marketers, agencies and publishers that there is, in fact, a tenable path to rebuilding trust, transparency and safety at scale across programmatic markets. "These critical industry topics are central to the digital marketing discussion and dictating media buying strategy everywhere we go. Integrity is a key currency, and advertisers and their agencies are leaning in. We're thrilled to be expanding our operations to better serve them," commented John Vilade, Chief Revenue Officer, TRUSTX.

"TRUSTX is not just brand safe, it's brand enhancing," said Dave Morris, EVP Advanced Advertising and Client Partnerships at CBS, one of the five TRUSTX investors. "We were one of the Founding TRUSTX members and have seen, first hand, how TRUSTX has taken its mission and delivers on its promises. Transparency and safety are things a lot of people talk about, but very few exchanges deliver on. TRUSTX delivers, and that's why we're here."

Five senior executives participating in TRUSTX talk about why they're involved in this video [], including Sharmilan Rayer, VP Audience and Programmatic Platforms, NBCUniversal; Nicole Lesko, VP, Digital Ad Product and Operations, Meredith; Matt Minoff, Chief Digital Officer, Meredith; Dave Pond, GM, Display and Programmatic, Vox Media, and Dave Morris, EVP, Advanced Advertising and Client Partnerships, CBS.

TRUSTX is a collaborative programmatic marketplace where buyers and sellers can test and measure innovative ad monetization models, and raise the bar on trust, transparency and safety at scale. On day one, TRUSTX and its members set a high bar for the next generation of programmatic trading. Foundational principles include:

100% human and viewable: The marketplace requires buyers and sellers to agree that only ads deemed to be seen by a human and 100% viewable (as per current MRC standards) will be monetized.

100% trading transparency down to the publisher and advertiser URL: All participants know what's being bought and sold, all the time.

100% financial transparency from bid to delivery, reporting and billing: TRUSTX operates as a non-profit, which keeps operational costs low and maximizes working media dollars for buyers, and ad revenue for sellers.
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