> News > 2001
> Z is for Zedo
Z is for Zedo
By Ken Liebeskind
March 26, 2001
Z is for Zedo, the company that has developed
a new Web ad serving technology that lets user
s choose the type of ads they'd like to see on
Zedo Self Targeting is the application developed
by the company, which is sold to companies to
install on their sites. Zedo's first big customers
are Cybereps, the Internet advertising rep firm
and Talkcity.com. Go to their sites and "Zedo
pick your ad" appears on the home page. Mouse
over it and a menu drops down with a series of
product categories. After users select a category
they will only see those kinds of ads whenever
they return to the site or any other site served
by Zedo. If the site hasn't sold enough ads in
that category, they will see general ads from
a run of rotation.
The product categories Zedo offers are computing,
entertainment, electronics, autos, home, vacation
and travel, special offers, fashion and personal
"Advertisers are looking for something different
because there needs to be a new way of doing it,"
says Roy de Souza, Zedo's CEO. "It's simple for
advertisers because customers choose their category."
It's a major change from the way ads are typically
sent to users by large ad servers like DoubleClick
whose click stream technology profiles users based
on their Web activity and sends them related advertising.
"They track user behavior on the Net, which is
a privacy issue that is wrong and unethical,"
says Mike Warsinske, CEO of Cybereps. "Zeno's
self serving technology is better and more in
line with how advertisers traditionally purchase
He compares the Zeno system to opt-in email,
since users "tell you what they want to see."
He also says it provides a selling point for
his sales reps who can sell advertising that is
requested by users. "It gives you a qualifying
premium you can sell to advertisers," he says.
When asked what sites he'd use Zedo on, he specifically
mentioned Fgn.com, a portal game site and totalwoman.com.
"Potentially it could go across all properties,"
Warsinske also says Zedo offers "a good pedigree
from a financial standpoint." The privately held
company received $2.25 million in first round
investment from Artiman Ventures and Esther Dyson.
De Souza says, "We're just about to close another
The company, with a home base in San Francisco
and engineers working in India, was founded in
Its only problem is timing. It is introducing
a new ad serving technology when there are few
ads to serve because of the dot-com fallout.