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Perfect Market, news ad firm, lands $9 million in funding round led by Comcast

Perfect Perfect Market Inc, a start-up that seeks to help news organizations make more money through online advertising, has won $9 million in new funding in a round led by Comcast Interactive Capital, the cable giant's venture arm.

This is the fourth capital infusion for the Pasadena company since it was seeded with $1 million by Pasadena start-up incubator Idealab in May 2007. Perfect Market has now raised $28.1 million from a variety of sources, including venture companies Trinity Ventures and Rustic Canyon Partners. In 2010, the Los Angeles Times' parent company, Tribune Co., led a $6-million investment round.

“The substantial support we’ve received from investors to date affirms Perfect Market’s mission," said Perfect Market Chief Executive Julie Schoenfeld in a statement. The company, she said, was looking to "satisfy a gap in finding new monetization opportunities for leading Web properties in the ever-expanding online advertising marketplace.”

Counting among its clients 30 national news sites -- including latimes.com -- Perfect Market evaluates the often voluminous archives of large news organizations to determine which pieces of its older content might be most profitably brought to the surface -- and paired with ads. The company works with Hearst Corp., the Orange County Register and an NBC-owned site, among others. 

The privately held company declined to disclose its revenue or whether it had reached profitability. New venture rounds generally indicate, however, that investors see potential for revenue growth.

Comcast Interactive Capital, the $500-million fund and lead investor on the current "D" round, describes itself as focusing on "broadband, interactive and enterprise businesses." The firm's managing director, David Horowitz, will take a seat on Perfect Market's board of directors, and Perfect Market said it had just begun providing advertising services to several Comcast businesses.

The process of making older articles visible involves a healthy dose of so-called search engine optimization, through which Web pages are outfitted with keywords and other computer code intended to act as digital beacons that can attract Google, Bing and other search services.

When a given Web page appears high in Google or Bing search results, more people generally click on it, which translates to advertising dollars -- or more often, cents -- to news publishers. 

Perfect Market keeps tabs on which types of news users are likely to be seeking -- say, stories about astrology, traffic or real estate -- and makes sure news sites' articles on those topics are visible and well-stocked with ads.

Perfect Market has 30 full-time employees.

-- David Sarno

 

 
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