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Startup native ad platform Nativo bags $3.5 million in Series A funding

Busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers will doubt­less be aware of the rise of con­tent mar­ket­ing. Brands are increas­ing­ly mak­ing their own blog posts, adver­to­r­i­al arti­cles and videos rather than rely­ing pure­ly on tra­di­tion­al ads to the point where spon­sored con­tent and native adver­tis­ing have fast become the two most sig­nif­i­cant trends in online adver­tis­ing. And that’s pos­si­bly why one of the fastest-ris­ing ad tech com­pa­nies spe­cial­iz­ing in them has just bagged a hand­some $3.5 mil­lion in Series A funding.

Going native

Busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers who haven’t heard of Nati­vo might do well to gen up now. Launched in 2010 as PostRe­lease, the startup’s plat­form allows adver­tis­ers and pub­lish­ers to acti­vate, deploy and man­age con­tent-ori­ent­ed native place­ments through all their media chan­nels. Pub­lish­ers sim­ply put some code on their site and cre­ate a tem­plate for brand­ed con­tent, where­upon adver­tis­ers can upload their content.

Nati­vo ensures that it’s not only dis­trib­uted to all the rel­e­vant part­ner sites but that it’s also for­mat­ted to look native to each indi­vid­ual web des­ti­na­tion. And all the ads work on tablets, smart­phones and desk­tops alike.

What’s in a name?

The change of name from PostRe­lease is delib­er­ate: the com­pa­ny is seri­ous about embrac­ing the big “native” buzz­word and has, from its incep­tion, striv­en to ensure all its ads fit seam­less­ly with the reg­u­lar con­tent appear­ing on each of the sites they’re fea­tured on (they are, though, clear­ly labeled as spon­sored con­tent). And as any busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ag­er can tes­ti­fy, native adver­tis­ing has tak­en off big time.

Nativo’s CEO Justin Choi says that there’s still some mar­ket­place con­fu­sion about exact­ly what it is. He’s very clear about Nativo’s approach, however:

“To us, native is not only placed with­in the con­tent stream, but the engage­ment with that con­tent is the same as engage­ment with non-adver­tis­ing con­tent on that site.”

The lat­est round of fund­ing was led by Grey­croft Part­ners with par­tic­i­pa­tion from Sig­nia Ven­tures Part­ners and, and takes the total fund­ing the com­pa­ny has secured to $5.3 million.

Com­ment­ing on the lat­est round, Grey­croft MD Alan Patri­cof said:

“Giv­en our close rela­tion­ship with pub­lish­ers, we knew that native adver­tis­ing was emerg­ing as a major adver­tis­ing cat­e­go­ry, and we were look­ing for inter­est­ing com­pa­nies in this space. We were very impressed with the tech­nol­o­gy and trac­tion that the Nati­vo team had already generated.”

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