Company Overview

Overview

Linkstorm is an advertising technology company pioneering a new approach to online advertising with the premise that ads perform better for the advertiser when they are more useful to the customer.

Our next-generation hyperlinking system significantly enhances the performance of online advertising, e-commerce and online publishing by overlaying cascading menus onto any kind of hyperlink or ad unit, thus enabling customers to navigate directly to the information or actions that they want.

By rolling over a Linkstorm-enabled link or ad, the customer unfurls a menu of links, thus previewing additional destinations even before having to click. Then a single click takes the customer deep into a website, right to the answer to their question, the product info they were seeking or the transaction they wanted to perform. In the case of advertising, these links could include multiple products, offer details or marketing messages that specifically address their interests.

See Client Examples to learn how Linkstorm is turning display advertising into a true high-performance marketing tool.

Linkstorm is headquartered in New York City and is funded by visionary investors including Esther Dyson and Jim Rutt.

History

Linkstorm, founded as Content Directions in August 2000 and renamed in November 2005, was established to commercialize the Handle System®, a next-generation linking system developed by Dr. Robert Kahn, a co-creator of the Internet and co-inventor of its underlying communication protocol, TCP/IP. This innovation improves on the URL concept of linking only to a single web page address, which often requires information seekers to follow a daisy-chain of page links to reach the exact nugget of content they need.

In Dr. Kahn's Handle System platform, a handle is a unique identifier for any kind of digital object. Then, through Linkstorm's unique patent-pending extensions to the Handle System, the object can be associated with any number of related links, other objects, or any other centrally maintained data. The scientific/technical/medical (STM) publishing industry has embraced this technology and uses it today to interlink 99 percent of the world's journal articles.

Linkstorm's management, however, after helping drive this universal adoption in the journal industry, determined that this technology could impact a much larger market segment in ways that would benefit the business world and the hundreds of millions of active Internet users beyond the scientific community. The company spent years building and enhancing that technology in collaboration with major publishers such as McGraw-Hill and Harvard Business School Publishing and has now optimized its patent-pending platform for the new marketplace opportunity represented by online advertising.

Management

David Sidman, CEO and Founder

David Sidman is the founder and CEO of Linkstorm, an advertising technology company that makes online advertising more useful to the consumer, and therefore better-performing for the advertiser. Linkstorm has achieved 2x-20x improvements in click-through and conversion rates for IBM, Cisco, Wal-Mart, Blackberry, American Express and many others by overlaying its unique, patent-pending navigation menu onto their display ads.

Mr. Sidman originally founded the company as Content Directions in order to commercialize a new linking system for the Internet created by the primary inventor of the Internet itself, Dr. Robert Kahn, with the potential to replace or supplant DNS and URLs as we know them today. In the course of setting the company on its current/successful path in online advertising, he re-invented the company several times over and raised >$13M from 175 Angel investors including Esther Dyson, Jim Rutt, D.E. Shaw, Robert Weissman and others, as well as creating an extensive patent portfolio for what is fundamentally a new/better way to navigate the Web.

Prior to founding Linkstorm, Mr. Sidman served as director of new publishing technologies for John Wiley & Sons, where he helped the U.S.’ oldest independent publisher to transition its print business to the Web through a combination of strategy development, internal projects enabling organic growth, and external acquisitions/investments. In four years he helped grow electronic product revenues 16-fold, with profitability rising more than 10-fold. He also helped initiate usage of the Web as a sales channel for print publications, growing this channel from nonexistence in 1996 to over $30 million by the time he left. As a member of the M&A team, he participated in acquisitions and integrations totaling about $300M.

In addition to his Linkstorm responsibilities, Mr. Sidman is the non-executive chairman of Anian Games, a social media gaming company, and a managing director at POM Partners (“Pulse On Media”), a boutique investment and advisory firm focused solely on digital media.

Prior to Linkstorm and Wiley, Mr. Sidman held senior management positions in the technology, finance and information businesses of Barclay's Bank, Moody's Investors Service, Shearson Lehman Hutton/American Express, Mercantile Stores and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Mr. Sidman is a summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard, where he also taught physics, mathematics and philosophy as an undergraduate.

Officers

Michael B. Healy, Director of Client and Ad Operations

Mr. Healy began his career in the Internet Industry in 1998 where he quickly made a home within the Advertising Operations role. Starting initially in a sales Support role for NJ.com, Mike learned ad operations duties from both a publisher and vendor perspective. In 2000 he joined the Doubleclick media team as their Business Sponsorship Specialist where he was responsible for handling clients such as EdgarOnline, Nasdaq, Time, iWon and Headhunter.net. He then joined an up and coming player in outsourced Ad Operations called Trafficmac (now known as Operative) where he learned all aspects of ad operations and was responsible for training of all new personnel. For the seven years that he remained with Operative, he had the opportunity to learn the inner workings of many different ad servers such as DFP, DFA, OAS, Falk, CheckM8, Accipiter and others. During this time, he was also responsible for working with clients to determine the best ways in which to architect their products for Internet Advertising. These products ranged from simple publisher websites through complex network offerings including such elements as revenue shares, video integration, RSS and email sponsorships. Since landing at Linkstorm in 2008, Mike has been responsible for all ad campaigns delivered through Linkstorm's proprietary technology as well as optimizing internal and external tools and workflows.

Board of Directors

Jonathan Emery

Jon Emery was Senior VP, General Counsel of Network Solutions, a technology company, which was sold to VeriSign for $17 Billion in July 2000. Before Network Solutions, he was Corporate Counsel at Tambrands (formerly Tampax), and so brings significant business perspective about advertising and marketing at a major consumer products company. He is now a full-time investor who is actively involved in all his portfolio companies.

Michael Robinson

Mr. Robinson is a former senior banker with Citicorp/Citibank, Bank of Montreal, and Societé Generale, where he led teams in loan syndications, structured finance and asset securitization. His first entrepreneurial experience was as Chief Administrative Office of LoanX, a Web-based secondary loan sales platform owned principally by Goldman Sachs, CSFB, J.P. Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of America, and Creditex. He has served on the boards of the Harvard Club of NY, the New York Community Nursing Center, and Arts Education for the Blind. Mr. Robinson holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard, and two Masters’ degrees, one in Finance from MIT and one in Economics and Public Policy from Princeton. He is also a long-time Linkstorm investor, starting with the very first Angel round and continuing through the latest round.

Mike Warsinske

Mr. Warsinske is a life-long Ad Industry veteran and serial entrepreneur, and is working actively with Linkstorm in a hands-on BizDev capacity as well as serving on its Board. He is currently the CEO of OverAd Media, a media sales organization which works closely with NewsCorp's Fox Asia division and advises over a dozen digital media startups. As the founder and CEO of Cybereps, an online advertising sales organization with 100 employees/7 offices which was sold to Interep in 2001 (Nasdaq: IREP), he led the initial media sales for the Internet Movie Database (IMDB.com), Andover.net, eMarketer.com, Reuters.com, MP3.com and many others. Prior to Cybereps, Mr. Warsinske ran a traditional media rep firm which included Chief Executive Magazine, several publications of Scholastic and Entrepreneur Magazine. He began his career at Saatchi & Saatchi/Compton in account management working on the Tylenol brands. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Journalism. In addition to his regular Board responsibilities, Mr. Warsinske is working with Linkstorm to open doors to clients, distribution partners, product development partners, and new investors. He is also building out a media buying capability for Linkstorm, so that clients now have a one-stop shopping option for both the media and the ads involved in a Linkstorm campaign.

Advisors

Raj Das

Having founded POM Partners in 2008, Raj continues to lead POM as its CEO. POM Partners is a global consulting firm focused on strategic counsel to established and emerging growth companies in the Digital Media sector. Prior to his current role, Raj served as the CFO and SVP of Strategic Planning at a $500M revenue publicly traded direct marketing company focusing on database, market research, and email marketing sectors. Raj contributed dynamically in the company’s significant growth and profitability. In addition to his corporate operational experience, Raj has spent over 15 years of his career in investment banking in New York primarily in Business, Information, and Internet Services sectors. His senior roles have included tenures at Smith Barney, ING Barings, and Bear Stearns. At these organizations, Raj completed over 32 financing and M&A transactions representing an aggregate transaction value of over $20 billion. Raj is a graduate of Stanford Executive Program where he was the Co-President of his class of 140 senior executives from Global 500 companies. Raj graduated summa cum laude from The Wharton School with a degree in Finance and Multinational Management. Raj and his family live in Manhattan, New York.

Bruce Barren

Mr. Barren is Group Chairman of The EMCO/Hanover Group, which, since its inception in 1971, has concluded more than $3+ billion in financial transactions worldwide as international merchant bankers, representing more than 1,000 separate corporate transactions. Mr. Barren has completed more than 200 business turnarounds, capital restructurings and mergers/acquisitions representing more than $1 billion in annualized payroll. He has been honored on more than 50 separate occasions by state and federal governments of the U.S., China and Central America, and has received more than a dozen individual U.S. Congressional Tributes, both from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, including one in 1990 from then Congressman Christopher Cox - subsequently the 28th Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1989, Mr. Barren was honored with a commemorative from President Ronald Reagan. Between 2000 to 2005 he received letters of commendation from then President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore plus President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney along with then U.S. Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton (subsequently appointed in 2009 as the U.S. Secretary of State under President Obama) for his then 35+ years of service to the country, various states and their respective communities. Mr. Barren is advising Linkstorm in matters ranging from corporate governance to financing strategies (both private and public) to potential joint ventures with overseas corporations.