Kanary NEST Demand-Side Platform (DSP)

One of the most notable and influential changes to the online display-advertising industry over the past decade has been the introduction of real-time bidding (RTB).

This complex process provides many benefits to both marketers and publishers. For marketers in particular, they can target the right audience, expand their reach, better control their marketing budgets, and optimise ROI. Unfortunately, there is a lot of obscurity within the industry, especially regarding the actual cost of impressions. That’s where Kanary comes in.


Tech company


Programmatic advertising





About Kanary Nest

Kanary NEST provides advertisers with an easy way to buy display ads by using programmatic and real-time bidding (RTB) technology with fully transparent reporting on media spend, conversions, and commissions.

Key points


We wanted to build a DSP that focused on providing advertisers with transparent insights into their reports and commissions.


We designed and built a demand-side platform, complete with a modern user interface that can be operated by even the most novice user.

Project goal

The goal of Kanary was to build a fault-tolerant, scalable demand-side platform (DSP) that optimizes the user experience.


We built the DSP using Python as the main backend language and various frontend technologies for the user interface.

“They simply build things better
than the rest – period.”

Alex Wheldon


The Goal

The goal of Kanary was to build a fault-tolerant, scalable demand-side platform (DSP) that optimizes the user experience and provides a clear and interactive user interface that can be operated by even the most novice user.

Main challenges

The main challenges involved developing a platform that could handle billions of bid requests and display the data in real time. In addition to the technical challenges, we also had to address the visual and data presentation aspect, which involves displaying the massive amounts of data in a clear and easy-to-understand way. To overcome this challenge, we had to come up with a user experience and design strategy that would produce a user-friendly interface allowing all users to easily understand their campaigns’ performance.

Building the Kanary platform required a mix of technical solutions coupled with a user-friendly interface and sharp design elements.

After evaluating the current state of the real-time bidding process and identifying challenges and opportunities, we came up with a list of features that would provide clients with the following:

Key features

    • Easily scalable, fast bidder

      The high-performance platform is capable of handling and processing billions of daily bid requests on limited infrastructure.

    • Powerful campaign management

      Manage any number of campaigns, test different variations, and experiment with numerous campaigns.

    • Shared vault with resources

      Ads are stored in one place and can be accessed all at once.

    • Advanced analytics

      Clearer, more transparent and deeper insights into each campaign, ROIs, and each impression cost with real-time analytics.

    • Manual and automatic optimization

      Possibilities to optimize impression purchases through intelligent learning.

    What we did

    After carefully defining and planning the scope of the project, we set out to solve the challenges and conquer the project’s goals.

    Bid requests

    Receiving, handling, and processing bid requests are the core functionalities of the Kanary platform. We designed the system architecture and scaled it horizontally, which enables the platform to handle billions of daily bid requests, while at the same time utilizing limited infrastructure.

    Platform performance

    We developed the backend of the platform using multiple software development solutions and tools – Python, Twisted, Redis, Storm, and others. This modern and powerful combination enables the platform to maintain ultra-fast performance.

    Branding, UX&UI

    The frontend part of the application provides clients with a unique user experience that has not yet been seen in advertising technology solutions. It was built using JavaScript with Knockout JS as the framework to ensure complete usability. The UX&UI design elements emit a recognizable brand image and deliver a simplistic user experience to what is otherwise a highly complex technology.


    In order to provide marketers with access to the major biddable display advertising inventories, we integrated Kanary with AppNexus and ad exchanges supporting OpenRTB protocols, such as Nexage.

    Our development process

    • One of the first main tasks we undertook on this project was optimising the backend and database. We redesigned the database structure to enable it to operate more effectively and to increase the process speed of the requests sent from the merchants’ sites.
    • Our expertise in this field and our experience with similar projects enabled us to minimise the learning curve and reduce the time spent on planning the project. This allowed us to start developing the application straightaway and maintain a fast pace throughout the development process.
    • We used mongoDB for the application’s database, which provides the stability, reliability and performance needed to support the many functions and user requests.

    The technologies we used





    The result

    We built the project from the ground up and launched the MVP to private beta testers. Based on the feedback received by the initial users, we made improvements and continued to develop the platform.

    The platform was featured in the TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 conference in New York and received a lot of positive feedback from attendees.

    In August 2014, Kanary NEST was successfully acquired by the online advertising giant, Gravity4.

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