Here’s a question to exercise the gray matter of the jobbing business development manager: how does an ad tech startup leap from $19 million in investment to $89 million in a single bound? Answer: have a tried and tested product that really does help marketers get a sound return on investment from their digital advertising campaigns. Like ad tech startup AdRoll, for example, which has just raised a princely $70 million in Series C.
With its newly-opened New York office (led by former Google and Say Media exec Neil Coleman) steaming ahead to become the company’s most successful yet, closing in on Madison Avenue in the process, AdRoll has persuaded some pretty hard-headed investors that it’s worth the additional cash.
Business development managers who’ve been around for a while will recall that back in 2008, when AdRoll was founded, ad tech wasn’t considered particularly cool. But co-founder and CEO Aaron Bell, who began professional life as a tech engineer, sensed that Google AdWords had potential to be developed in new directions and developed AdRoll’s advertising retargeting technology as a result.
And he’s been proven right. In October last year, AdRoll’s revenue run rate reached $100 million, and it’s now on course to hit $150 million. The ambition, says Bell, is to be as central for purchasing online display ads as Google AdWords has become for search ads.
If you were a business development manager at the startup, you’d probably want to know how the additional funding will be deployed. Expanding the company’s global footprint and cornering mobile ad retargeting appear to be the top two priorities.
Unlike ad tech “siblings” like Criteo, which tends to work with big global clients, AdRoll’s technology is built and packaged in such a way that it’s much more accessible to smaller clients. And now it’s got smartphones, tablets and social media in its sights for retargeting technology, as well as more traditional online channels.
Commenting on the latest funding round, Bell said:
“We’ve raised a lot of money now because of our ambitious product vision. We want every client to be able to make advertising decisions online based on data. We’re working hard to build a company that will be around 100 years from now, an enduring, standalone company.”