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TripleLift, the New York ad tech startup that aims to replace dull banners with beautiful image-centric native ads

Most ad tech prod­uct man­agers under­stand that ban­ner ads are now wide­ly seen as the dinosaurs or web-based adver­tis­ing – text heavy, clunky and so unin­spir­ing peo­ple have become blind to them. By har­ness­ing the pow­er of the visu­al web, New York-based ad tech start-up TripleLift is help­ing evo­lu­tion on its way with a prod­uct that may well select text-laden ban­ners for extinc­tion and replace them with beau­ti­ful, inher­ent­ly social images for viral shar­ing.

Har­ness­ing the pow­er of the Visu­al Web

And it’s just raised $4 mil­lion in Series A, a cash injec­tion which brings its total invest­ment since its launch in 2012 to $6.13 mil­lion. Describ­ing TripleLift as a native adver­tis­ing com­pa­ny leaves out more than it reveals; the more dis­cern­ing prod­uct man­ag­er will want to know what makes TripleLift unique.

The startup’s co-founder and CEO, Eric Berry, told TechCrunch jour­nal­ist Antho­ny Ha that the Web is evolv­ing at an accel­er­at­ed pace from an empha­sis on text to a mas­sive empha­sis on the image – the Visu­al Web is here. He said:

“We’re find­ing that brands are cre­at­ing a lot of beau­ti­ful images to com­mu­ni­cate with their cus­tomers. A lot of this is for microsites or cam­paigns that they cre­ate, in addi­tion to for assets cre­at­ed for social media.”

TripleLifts trawls the web and finds the images that the adver­tis­er sens­es speak most effec­tive­ly to their audi­ences, irre­spec­tive of where they’ve been post­ed. Its image fin­ger­print­ing tech­nol­o­gy can match those images wher­ev­er they are, no mat­ter whether they’ve been re-sized, cropped or com­pressed, and con­verts them into beau­ti­ful native dis­play ads that auto­mat­i­cal­ly blend in with the look and feel of pub­lish­er web­sites.

Torque­ing up the tech

But that’s not all (tech-savvy prod­uct man­agers will like this bit): TripleLift is build­ing dig­i­tal Adland’s first real-time bid­ding-based native exchange.

The new fund­ing round, which was led by True Ven­tures (iNovia Cap­i­tal, Laco­nia Ven­tures, Lib­er­ty City Ven­tures, MESA +, NextView Ven­tures and the Social Inter­net Fund plus oth­ers also par­tic­i­pat­ed), will help the start­up move the web away from ugly ban­ners to rav­ish­ing, image-cen­tric native ads, Berry said, adding:

“Because our native adver­tis­ing is so heav­i­ly depen­dent on tech­nolo­gies like com­put­er vision and dynam­ic tem­plat­ing, we’re invest­ing heav­i­ly in engi­neers and ana­lysts, as well as the sig­nif­i­cant amount of hard­ware required to actu­al­ly enable the tech­nol­o­gy.”

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