By Sahil Patel
Digital advertising company Sharethrough has raised $17 million in a new round of debt and equity financing.
The startup specializes in “native” advertising — making sponsored/ad content feel more like editorial content by embedding them alongside each other in the same feed (some also refer to this as “content marketing”). Sharethrough’s technology covers branded videos, photos, and articles, and looks to insert them organically into content experiences on publishers’ websites and mobile platforms.
With the new financing, Sharethrough will continue development on its proprietary in-feed ad exchange. The company says a “primary focus is to enable native distribution of all forms of branded content,” as well as “develop new products to enable publishers to create, manage, and sell native ad campaigns directly.” Sharethrough will also use the funds to make more product and engineering hires.
Mobile will remain a major area of focus for Sharethrough. Most mobile platforms from publishers already employ a “feed”-based content delivery mechanism. With Sharethrough’s technology, publishers will be able to sell and embed native ads directly within the feed. Sharethrough’s publisher clients include People, Forbes, USA Today Sports Media Group, and IBT Media.
“The native advertising investment, publisher, and market opportunity reminds of search in 2003. There is an emergent modern Internet driven by mobile, feed driven design, and user consumption, which demands native monetization,” said Patrick Keane, president of Sharethrough, in a statement. “I’m particularly excited about the opportunity that Sharethrough has created for advertisers and strongly believe that native is the inevitable mobile monetization strategy for all digital publishers.”
The new financing round featured existing investors North Bridge Venture Partners and Floodgate, who were joined by Elevation Partners, Silver Creek, and Keane himself.