Times Internet pumps in $100 mn to develop native ad platform Colombia

Over the last three years, Times Internet has been aggressively investing in a 150-member global technology team to develop Colombia, a world class native advertising platform. The company custom built its own big data engine using open source tools and technologies. The continued investment will be focused on expanding Colombia’s capabilities to leverage insights and data about users across multiple marketing formats including display, video as newer formats such as coupons and purchase formats for a wide variety of marketers.

Colombia has been created to give marketers the ability to fully engage with nearly 200 million digital users a month across Times Internet properties and partner publishers. Its growth has been nothing short of exponential – in March alone, the Colombia Network served more than 6 billion content recommendations, making it India’s largest native platform for premium publishers across both desktop, tablet and mobile. More than 60 per cent of this inventory if from premium news and content publishers is only explicitly available through Colombia.

According to Swapnil Shrivastav, CTO, Adtech & Colombia, “Colombia is currently processing billions of requests a day and matching the right marketing offer to the right users at the right time and the right format, considers more than 1,000 separate attributes in real time. It will only scale up further.”

Gulshan Verma, CRO, Times Internet, added here, “The acceptance of Colombia among both the marketer and publisher community has been remarkable with over 50 external premium publishers signing up to leverage Colombia as a native platform in the last six months. This investment is a show of confidence in Times Internet’s ability to build world class technology platforms that scale.”

Times internet has quietly transformed itself over the last few years into a digital technology company that runs one of the most complex and sophisticated marketing operations in addition to hosting editorial content for multiple internal sites as well as partnerships. This is a part of the company’s ambition to become one of the top three influential digital products companies – investing aggressively in creating technology solutions that will benefit marketers in India, given the growing trend of brands looking for ways to optimally reach out to audiences through native branded content across mobile and web.

Apart from Colombia being the only smart marketing platform of its kind, Times Internet is also one of the largest publisher-owned ad network platforms in the APAC region. With its scale and reach of 165 million users across genres and languages and its ability to provide absolute control to marketers to disrupt the way consumers in India can be reached online, Times Internet has earmarked an investment of around $100 million in developing marketing technology to continue to creating value for marketers as the mix of digital marketing gets more complex.


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