Born from brothers Scott and John Ferber, TeknoSurf officially launches in August 1998. The company’s early days are focused on building a network and obtaining clients, with a small team of 10 employees working long hours cramped in a hot townhouse outside Baltimore.
TeknoSurf becomes Advertising.com and the company grows to 300 employees during the dot-com bubble and subsequent burst. Advertising.com survives and thrives – receiving $57 million in financing and launching its international operations in London. The brothers Ferber are named "Entrepreneurs of the Year" by Ernst & Young, and Dun and Bradstreet deem their start-up the “Fastest-Growing Internet Company.”
Search engine marketing is starting to generate some buzz, just as Advertising.com launches its search solutions – applying its award-winning banner optimization technology to keyword bids. The company gains ground in other areas as well, specifically a plot of land known as Scandinavia, with the acquisition of Dayrates – the region’s largest online direct marketing firm.
After years of steady, record growth, Advertising.com declares its intent to go public by filing an S1 with the SEC. Instead, AOL acquires the industry’s largest online advertising network in the industry’s largest acquisition of the year. When discussing the $497 million deal, Ted Leonsis, vice chairman of AOL, describes Advertising.com's business model as "the Holy Grail of what interactive marketers have been looking for."
Advertising.com continues its course of ongoing innovation and trend-setting with a marked venture into the world of online video – as AOL officially acquires video pioneer Lightningcast, Inc. as a subsidiary of Advertising.com. In addition, Advertising.com makes a decision to enter into its 11th country – launching a joint venture with Japanese firm Mitsui, Inc.