One of the things I talk about when people start to talk bubble these days is the structure of the bubble and how different it is than the last bubble. It seems to me like during the last bubble, many VCs were able to get their investments public and cash out, leaving it to public investors to take a bath. This time around, M&A has slowed a bit and very few companies are going public. There will be a lot of funds that fail to come out of the first decade of the 21st century showing good returns.
What is interesting about AdReady is that they do not own a network. They are really a front-end tool for media, but it kind of assumes that all inventory is the same and that performance differences tend to be more about creative quality. At Advertising.com, I would say that we tend to skew the other way. We see performance differences in creative, but we also recognize that all inventory is not created equal.
For them to raise $10m, they had to convince Bain Capital and Khosla and others (smart money) that ad inventory is a commodity. To me, that is a hard sell. But then, the AdReady team is great and could sell ice to eskimos. I love those guys, I just think these deals are hard to do. Probably I think too small.