"We got a great deal on a two-year sublease, and while we looked at other areas, it seems like you can get the best deals in the Financial District right now," says CEO Ric Calvillo. The new space is 12,500 square feet, with an option to add another 7,000. The company is currently located just a few blocks away, on Temple Street overlooking the Boston Common.
Nanigans was originally founded to be a publisher of games on Facebook — the name is a fragment of the word "shenanigans" — but by mid-2010, the company had shifted its focus to advertising. Calvillo touts the company as the biggest Facebook-oriented ad optimization platform, meaning that it helps advertisers get their message in front of the right audience, and dedicate more of their ad budget to ads that are delivering results. "On Facebook, you can deliver an ad to users based on their location, age, gender, interest, or behavior," Calvillo says. (Advertisers can even target individual users, for instance someone who once purchased from an e-commerce site but hasn't been back in a while.) "In some cases, when you measure the return-on-investment of an ad, you might find that it can be better even if you are paying for a more expensive audience."
Advertisers spend hundreds of millions of dollars through Nanigans' software, Calvillo says, and the company pockets a small percentage of that spend.
Calvillo says that Nanigans was profitable prior to raising $3 million last year, in its first round of venture capital. "We haven't used much of the money," he says.
In addition to the roomier digs in Boston, Calvillo says that Nanigans has small outposts in New York and San Francisco, and plans to establish a presence in London next year.
About Scott Kirsner
Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.
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March 3: Web Innovators Group
Demos, drinks, and schmoozing at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge.
March 7-8: MassDigi Game Challenge
Competition for aspiring game developers... plus panels and keynotes related to the business of play.
April 3-4: Mass Biotech Annual Meeting
Issues facing the region's life sciences community.