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Tribal Fusion – Profile

August 12, 2004

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Management: This is CEO and founder, Dilip Dasilva’s first joint. Prior to Tribal, he had the doubtlessly thankless job of designing and building the ad serving software for Engage and Flycast. When they cratered in the great ad market sinkhole, Dilip worked solo and for two years to develop a new server for Tribal Fusion. Dilip says that being underground has been hard but that it’s been worth the wait now that he’s re-emerging into a renewed market that is bereft of bigger competitors
Business Model: Like other ad networks, it’s an arbitrage: Tribal Fusion buys excess ad inventory from hundreds of smaller sites at a low price, packages them into categories and resells the space to advertisers. Currently sells contextual ads and sponsorships across 700 publishers sites.
Competitors: AOL’s Advertising.com, 24/7 Real Media, Burst Media, Blue Lithium, Fastclick.
Dirt: The trick for ad networks is how to get loyalty from its content partners and Tribal Fusion is no exception. Friendster, for example, worked with Tribal early on when its traffic was surging and has since made the switch. Still, Tribal is spinning off lots of cash and is in an enviable position to navigate its strategic quandary.

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