In one sentence, what is C.A.S.T.?
C.A.S.T. is an advertising platform which allows publishers to easily create, sell, scale and manage native ad inventory.
What problem(s) does C.A.S.T. solve?
As standard display banners are becoming less and less effective (Banner blindness), publishers are seeking new sources of revenue that engage users and satisfy advertisers. Many publishers are turning to ‘Native Advertising’ as a solution.
To date, native advertising programs are difficult to scale, can’t be easily integrated and managed by publishers and pose challenges to advertisers.
C.A.S.T. allows publishers to add sellable inventory in the form of scalable native ad units and to manage them along with their standard ad placements in one unified marketplace.
These native units provide sites with the ability to create ads that deliver an excellent user experience with strong engagement, while remaining attractive and easy to use for advertisers.
What are your immediate goals?
We are currently working with several large websites and networks in the finance and technology verticals and plan on adding 15 new partners and expanding to new verticals like travel and lifestyle where we think our solution will work very well.
What were the biggest challenges involved in building the C.A.S.T. native ad platform?
Native advertising is an emerging concept so we have a lot of work to do in order to educate the market on how these types of ads are better for everyone.
How will the company make money?
As we create additional sources of income for the publisher we take a revenue share from any new income that is generated via our platform.
Who is in your team?
Omer Kaplan is CEO. Omer has been a leader in the online marketing space for over ten years and wrote a bestselling book on the topic in Israel.
Most recently, he founded AfterDownload, the market leading software and technology-focused ad network, powering standard and native ad inventory on high profile websites like CNET’s Download.com. He has a passion for empowering publishers to natively integrate monetized content into their websites.
- Omri Halamish is VP Business Development. Omri was previously in charge of Adops at AfterDownload where he helped increase revenues on both the publisher and advertiser side. Prior to his work there, Omri was a professional services manager at Gilat Satellite Communications.
- Tal Shaked is CBO. Tal Shaked, Chief Business Officer and Partner at C.A.S.T and AfterDownload, has been in the online advertising and ad-supported software business for more than 10 years. Tal has extensive experience in monetization, distribution and strategy in the online world and was previously VP Business Development at Babylon and held key positions at Hotbar and SmartShopper.
- David Cohen is VP Marketing. David is in charge of C.A.S.T.’s US Marketing and Operations. He graduated from Boston University and has a background in PR, Marketing and SEO. He was one of the first employees at AfterDownload, which was the basis for C.A.S.T.’s platform. He previously worked at The Nation Traffic, Rockstar Games and Brodeur Worldwide.
- Dan Greenberg is VP Product & Design. Dan Graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Design and Art in Israel with honors and has worked as VP Product at AfterDownload and C.A.S.T. for the last two and a half years. His passion is managing the balance between traditional graphic design principles and cutting edge technology.
Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?
In one year we would like to be powering at least 100 sites/networks in a variety of verticals. In three years we hope to already have launched the first true native advertising exchange for web and mobile.
We tend to work in months and not years, so in five years we will take what we can get!
Other than C.A.S.T. , what are your favourite websites / apps /tools?
- Dropbox – Amazing for both personal and business file storage.
- Skype – Omer’s favorite product in the whole wide world.
- Spotify – The greatest invention in music since Napster.
- Yesware – A fantastic add-on for Gmail which helps manage sales activity.
- HelloSign – Why did nobody think of this add-on which lets you sign documents in Gmail years ago!
- SellerCrowd.com – A well done site which acts as an information center for media sales people.