Times Internet* intends to invest as much as $100 million in its programmatic and native ad network platform Colombia, but is strangely reticent about discussing why it's making this large an investment, and what specifically the money will be used for. In a note sent a few days ago, the company said the platform, will be "used to expand Colombia's capabilities to leverage insights and data about users across multiple marketing formats including display, video as newer formats such as coupons and purchase formats for a wide variety of marketers." Colombia, which Times Internet says considers more than 1000 separate attributes for marketing, claims a reach of almost 200 million digital users a month across Times Internet and partner publisher owned properties, said it served over 6 billion content recommendations in March alone. It says that more than 60% of this inventory is from premium news and content publishers, available only through Colombia. Times Internet claims a reach of 165 million users, and says it provides "an interest graph" which gives context to search and social graphs. The "interest graph" contrast that the company highlights in comparison with search and social, points towards hints that the publisher is trying to set itself up as an alternative to Google and Facebook. Given that the $100 million investment is a substantial amount, we requested more specificity from Times Internet about its product and business plans, to understand their strategy better. The questions: Q1. Times Internet launched out Colombia in 2014, and what it did…
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