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Native ad startup Sharethrough considers big expansion after new investment

Most expe­ri­enced busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers would read­i­ly con­cede that it is not every day that an adver­tis­ing start­up man­ages to raise $17 mil­lion in invest­ment in their third round of fund­ing. How­ev­er, Sharethrough, a com­pa­ny com­mit­ted to high qual­i­ty native adver­tis­ing, has done just that, prov­ing that the intel­li­gent­ly dis­crim­i­nat­ing investor is capa­ble of dis­tin­guish­ing between drea­ry filler con­tent and gen­uine con­tent marketing.

High qual­i­ty is the name of the game 

With offices in New York, San Fran­cis­co and Chica­go, Sharethrough has just suc­cess­ful­ly closed its lat­est round of fund­ing with a $7 mil­lion cash injec­tion cour­tesy of new investors Sil­ver Creek, Ele­va­tion Part­ners and Patrick Keane. Exist­ing investors Flood­gate and North Bridge Ven­ture Part­ners also participated.

At the time of its $5 mil­lion Series B round back in 2012, Sharethrough focused almost exclu­sive­ly on video ads but has since expand­ed its remit to encom­pass mul­ti­ple for­mats with brand­ed con­tent via its Sharethrough Adver­tis­ing Exchange (STR). As the can­ny busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ag­er would no doubt agree, the proof of the pud­ding is in the eat­ing, and this expan­sion proved a hit with top-name, big-reach pub­lish­ers includ­ing Forbes, Peo­ple and Pop­u­lar Mechan­ics. Accord­ing to com­Score, Sharethrough’s net­work reach­es no few­er that 227 mil­lion peo­ple every month, 119 mil­lion of whom were using mobile devices.

The secret is in the software

Short­ly after the lat­est ven­ture invest­ment, Sharethrough’s senior com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ag­er, Thomas Cran­nick, told TechCrunch jour­nal­ist Antho­ny Ha that the company’s in-feed adver­tis­ing exchange refus­es “crap­py ads” and focus­es exclu­sive­ly on mean­ing­ful con­tent. He said: “We look to sites like Medi­um, Upwor­thy and oth­ers as inspi­ra­tion. They fea­ture con­tent that mat­ters, we believe that STR is best used to pro­mote mean­ing­ful brand con­tent and we are the exchange that allows for the dis­tri­b­u­tion of that type of con­tent. Like we have said for a while, ads don’t have to suck.”

Cran­nick is adamant that Sharethrough is not about what many peo­ple think of as native adver­tis­ing- name­ly, spon­sored edi­to­r­i­al con­tent. Sharethrough focus­es on in-stream and in-feed ads of the high­est quality.

With the new invest­ment sit­ting fresh­ly in the busi­ness account, Sharethrough’s next moves, accord­ing to Cran­nick, will be four­fold: to hire more engi­neers and sales­peo­ple, to pro­ceed with more tech devel­op­ment, to plot inter­na­tion­al expan­sion and to bring “STR soft­ware to every mod­ern publisher.”

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