Advertising technology company Simpli.fi has raised $16 million in a Series B growth round led by private equity firm Frontier Capital with participation from Contour Venture Partners.
Prior to the Series B round, the company had raised $4 million since its founding in 2010, bringing its financing total to $20 million after operating at a break-even point for about a year. Currently north of 50 employees, Simpli.fi plans to beef up engineering and sales staff that could double that number in the year to come.
The cash infusion will also go toward further development of the In.finity Programmatic Marketing Platform, which Simpli.fi CEO Frost Prioleau describes as an unstructured data platform that pipes in search, social, CRM and other contextual data for better-targeted mobile, video and display ad buys.
Simpli.fi’s client base ranges from ad networks and media companies accessing the platform through APIs to agencies and trading desks managing campaigns on behalf of brand advertisers.
Another major focus area for Simpli.fi is tackling the local ad market, a historically tough nut to crack, since “so many platforms require high-volume spend in order to start optimizing [for needs at the local level],” Prioleau said. “We’re trying to enable the ability to optimize at lower spend volumes and really automate the optimization of high volumes of small campaigns.”
This is where piping in unstructured data, which Simpli.fi claims to pull in through its proprietary In.finity platform, has an advantage, particularly for local advertisers. When targeting audiences with large segments, it can be harder to customize an audience around, say, a local real estate company or single dry cleaner that’s hyperfocused around geography. “If you have the ability to see what data elements are driving the performance of a campaign, you can optimize with less data there,” he said.
Simpli.fi, which signed on as a search retargeting provider in the Facebook Exchange (FBX) partner program nearly one year ago, says it’s experiencing strong traction in that channel and will continue to develop mobile retargeting capabilities as more mobile inventory becomes available on the news feed.
The company, which originated as a demand-side platform (DSP) for search marketers, is gaining performance-marketing spend.
“We’re seeing traction in our CPA-focused clients who are very ROI-driven, especially some of the national advertisers and their agencies and trading desks who are executing buys,” Prioleau said. “We’ve seen a ton of repeat business on that side.”