AdMeld announced in a release that it has raised $15 million in an investment round "led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP). Time Warner Investments and the company’s existing backers, Spark Capital and Foundry Group." Read the release.
AdMeld CEO Michael Barrett discussed the capital raise and insights on the industry.
When you went out seeking a third round of funding, what were you thinking in terms of new investors, generally speaking?
This all came together very quickly over the past few months. Before we had even considered taking on new money, we were fortunate to build strong relationships with the teams at Norwest and Time Warner Investments. Jeff Crowe at Norwest, who’s now joined our board, is extremely knowledgeable about the DSP/SSP/Exchange space, and Time Warner brings a great premium publisher perspective to the table. The more we learned about the value these teams could bring to AdMeld, it became a natural next step to start talking about how we could work together.
How is the funding climate for ad tech this year compared to the climate for your infusion last year?
Though my sense is that VCs are generally more cautious today than they were in even 2006/2007, over the past year the ecosystem in which AdMeld operates has become very hot. In addition, the company itself has grown dramatically over the past 12 months, which pushed a lot of risk out of the equation, so this time the interest was very pitched and high.
What do you specifically plan to do with this new capital raise?
This raise is about accelerating our development cycles so we can bring our products to premium publishers more quickly. Our roadmap is filled with some very exciting offerings that we’d like to get to market as efficiently as possible. It’s also going to help us as we continue to expand internationally.
Has real-time bidding been a game changer for AdMeld?
RTB has been highly beneficial for our publishers—it’s connected them with millions of dollars in budgets they probably wouldn’t have had access to otherwise, and given them a much higher level of transparency and control over every transaction. As a result, it’s had a big impact on AdMeld’s operations, development focus, and sales outreach strategy. Today RTB makes up around 20% of our overall impression volume, and for some of our publishers it represents 60% of the revenue we generate for them. We’ve seen what it can do, and with each bid we’re learning more about what it means for the future. RTB is something every premium publisher should have in their mix.
What questions are publishers asking you today that they weren't asking you last year?
As agency trading desks have grown in importance and visibility, we’ve been getting a lot more questions from publishers about the role these entities should play in their strategies for sales, coverage, pricing, etc. We don’t see this changing anytime soon. Other than that, I’d say questions about data and data protection is on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
By John Ebbert