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.
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 e.ventures, 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.”