The advertising landscape is confusing, fragmented, brimming with new technology and not necessarily transparent.

That’s partly the reason that Marketing Week and Econsultancy have launched a conference on the subject, Get With The Programmatic, in partnership with AppNexus.

It’s also the reason Thalamus exists, a startup that aims to be the ‘Yelp of advertising’. I caught up with founder and CEO, Garrett Gan.

In one sentence, what is your product/service?

Yelp for advertising.

What problem(s) does it solve?

It solves the massive fragmentation in the ad marketplace.

Thalamus is the largest crowdsourced database of ad vendor data in the world. It’s an exhaustive list of all advertising opportunities (networks, publishers, blogs, platforms), all in one searchable place.

Media buyers across the globe use Thalamus for ad partner research and planning, through a discovery engine that allows them to write, or read reviews by other marketers on campaigns they’ve run with ad vendors in the past.

Ad Partners can keep their profiles up-to-date by editing their capabilities, contacts, ad specifications, as well as uploading their marketing collateral, so as to be discovered by new media buying partners.

What are your immediate goals?

We want to scale the number of reviews on the platform and build features where the community of digital marketers can interact.

Our vision is to bring radical transparency to a marketplace fraught with fragmentation and to connect media buyers and sellers globally. 

What were the biggest challenges involved in building the tech or your team?

The biggest challenge was scaling the data in the beginning.

We finally surpassed the 50,000 ad partner point, but getting all the data crowdsourced and curated in the beginning was definitely the biggest challenge. 

How will the company make money?

Ad partners will be able to receive analytics on their profiles and enhanced features such as real-time chat with marketers.

They’ll be able to see aggregated keywords being searched for and filters being used, as well as which agencies/brands are viewing their profiles and downloading their case studies and media kits.

thalamus partners

Who is in your team?

Team members have worked previously at Quantcast and another startups prior to this working on building a mobile targeting data set. 

Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?

We want to become the de facto standard of advertising data in the world – detailing ad partners’ capabilities, contacts, traffic, ad specifications, network geography and reach, as well as marketer reviews.  

Other than your own, what are your favourite websites / apps / tools?

Quantcast, SimilarWeb, LinkedIn, Basecamp.