NEW YORK — Amidst gloom and doom news of tightening ad budgets and media layoffs, advertising technology company The Rubicon Project is seeing phenomenal growth. "The online advertising economy is still healthy. There's no signs of decline just yet," CEO Frank Addante told me at the AlwaysOn Conference in New York on Monday, where Rubicon was named Company of the Year.

The Rubicon Project, which pioneered the category of ad network optimization, saw 80 percent revenue growth and tripled its marketshare basis over the last quarter. It serves as an online marketplace for buyers and sellers, working with 1300 publishers, including USA Today and The Washington Post, and 375 of the 400 online ad networks. Citing Quantcast, he says his company is now the third largest Internet platform behind Google and Yahoo in terms of reach.

In the segment, Addante explains how the economic recession could actually be good news for advertisers. He compares it to the downturn in 2001, when the advertising market moved toward performance and Google took off as a result.

"Fast forward eight years. We're seeing the same thing, pressure is
coming down, advertising is going to move toward performance, but
here's the difference. It's not just Google sitting there with the big
catcher's mitt anymore. Now there are 400 ad networks out there that
exist primarily because they've geared themselves for performance," he says."Last
year a billion dollars was invested into ad networks that's going
straight to innovation and business models that are all
performance-based. So I think this market is going to be a very
different one, and it's not just going to be Google this time around,
it's going to be these other 400. So it's certainly a good time to be
in the advertising business and certainly a good time to be an ad

The Los Angeles-based company has raised $21 million in venture funding.

Here's a round-up of yesterday's sessions on MediaPost.  Here's the take on the conference by David Kaplan over at paidContent.

Much more to come from the conference. Stay tuned to the purple channel.

–Kelsey Blodget, Associate Producer