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With its latest office in New York buzzing with success, ad retargeting startup AdRoll sets it sights on global expansion

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.

Soar­ing suc­cess 

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.

Expan­sion plans

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.”

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