Economic Times: June, 2016
New Delhi: Times Internet is investing $100 million (more than Rs 670 crore) in developing smart marketing technology platform Colombia, which will help marketers engage with nearly 200 million digital users a month across the company's properties and partner publishers.
The company has been aggressively investing in a 150-member global technology team to develop Colombia. Times Internet has 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 and video as well as newer formats such as coupons for a wide variety of marketers.
The Colombia Network served more than 6 billion content recommendations in March, making it India's largest native platform for premium publishers across desktop, tablet and mobile. More than 60 per cent of this inventory from premium news and content publishers is available only through Colombia.
According to Swapnil Srivastava, chief operating officer, 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, chief revenue officer at Times Internet, said: "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 — part of the Times Group that publishes The Economic Times — 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.
Times Internet, one of the largest publisher-owned ad network platforms in the APAC region which has a scale of 165 million users across genres and languages, has earmarked an investment of around $100 million in developing marketing technology to continue creating value for marketers as the mix of digital marketing gets more complex.
With marketers looking to understand consumers in India better, Times Internet allows them insights into consumers' interests and passions that define their time spent on the internet.