Index Exchange launches new technology lab

The independent ad exchange hopes to diversify its offering by working with startups, starting by hosting a collision day at DMZ.

Index Exchange has opened IX Labs in Toronto to explore ways its expertise could be applied to areas of technology outside of its core business.

IX Labs was launched to diversify the offering at Index Exchange, one of the world’s largest independent programmatic ad exchanges. It will be looking at opportunities and challenges within the broader technology landscape, and looking for ways its knowledge and existing technical expertise could be used to scale them.

“From a structural perspective, IX Labs sits alongside the exchange and will explore innovative opportunities in parallel to the work the exchange does,” says Mayuran Yogarajah, distinguished engineer at Index Exchange and head of IX Labs. “Any potential opportunity IX Labs explores… will only enhance and optimize the work Index Exchange is already doing for its existing partners.”

The main way IX Labs will be pursuing these new opportunities is by partnering with startups. To that end, it is establishing partnerships with Toronto-based incubators and innovation hubs such as MaRS Discovery District and The Knowledge Society, which runs education programs for children between the ages of 13 and 17. It is also partnering with Ryerson University’s DMZ accelerator to host a collision day in October, during which startups will have direct meetings with Index Exchange execs to pitch their solutions and explore opportunities and partnerships.

Through the meetings, says Yogarajah. “We’re looking to partner with passionate individuals who are using modern technology to solve real-world problems.”

Yogarajah says this is the first venture of its kind for the company, which also has eight international offices in addition to ones in Toronto, Montreal and Kitchener-Waterloo. Beyond the fact that the entirety of its 200-person engineering team is located in Canada, Yogarajah says basing IX Labs in Canada is another way to take advantage of the “diversity, inclusivity and talent” in the country’s tech sector.

IX Labs will explore several areas of emerging technology, but Yogarajah says the DMZ collision day is focused on AI because of its ubiquity and the fact that companies working in the space “sit at the cutting edge of innovation, and we’re looking to understand how they’re leveraging their expertise to truly advance and enhance the industry at large.”