Rackspace Startup Program Spotlight On Ember: An Online Video Advertising Platform On The Rackspace Cloud

Ember is a demand-side online advertising platform solely focused on video. It’s designed to help advertisers shift from TV ads to online video to maximize the impact of their digital budgets. Ember’s platform brings more transparency to online video advertising placements and uses fine-tuned proprietary algorithms and contextual and semantic engines to ensure brand safety, placement and stronger ROI. Ember also uses a real-time bidding (RTB) platform to optimize ad spend.

The founding team at Ember comprises three Columbia University grads: Vikaas Sharma, Damian Ancukiewicz and Nic Borensztein. In 2012, the team entered the Ember concept into the StartEngine accelerator program in Los Angeles. The team emerged from the accelerator program with a strong network of media and technology professionals.

“We’re the kind of guys that get really excited about technology,” explains Borensztein, CEO of Ember. “We do a lot of our buying through advertising exchanges, which means we have to be prepared to handle 10,000 requests per partner per second. The problems we face are fascinating both architecturally and algorithmically, and the methods we’ve designed to keep our clients ad campaigns running efficiently are one of a kind.”

When it came to architecting the Ember platform, the team decided on Rackspace as a trusted Cloud hosting partner.

“Rackspace’s APIs and VPS environments are easy to use and manage, and their support is trustworthy,” says Borensztein.

And the Rackspace Startup Program helps Ember defray some of the costs of getting the business off the ground.

“Financially, it’s hard for a couple of young just-out-of-college entrepreneurs to cover server costs,” Borensztein says. “It’s one of the few costs that are really difficult to cut out. As a founder of a seed-stage company, your impulse is often to just do it yourself rather than reach out and pay for a service. But there’s not really an option to do that for hosting.

“Rackspace representatives from the Startup Program approached us directly and assured us of the depth of support and it’s proven useful since we moved over,” Borensztein continues. “Rackspace’s VPS is everything we needed to run a working demo environment to show off to investors, and to hold our development repository and other files.”

In 2014, the Ember team has been working closely on an acquisition deal with Adaptive Media, a programmatic audience and content monetization provider for website owners, app developers and video publishers who want to more effectively optimize content through advertising, headquartered in Irvine, Calif.

“With Adaptive, we’ve found a great fit for our technology and our team, and as a result they are acquiring the Ember platform and its employees,” Borensztein says. We’ve agreed on the terms and are in the final steps of finalizing the paperwork. It’s an exciting to see the success for our team and we’re grateful for all the help and advice we’ve gotten along the way.”

The Rackspace Startup Program was there to help Ember bring its proprietary algorithms that allow advertisers to allocate their video advertising budgets efficiently and effectively and reach desired target demographics. Drop the Startup Team a note and let us know if you need help building your startup.

John McKenna loves startups and was a Space Cowboy with the Rackspace Startup Program. He also crafted customer stories and produced really cool videos for the Customer Reference Program. John enjoys telling stories through his writings…and loves the beach, the ranch, his dog Blue and most of all his three beautiful daughters.


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