Native video pioneer closes new funding round, adds Mike Gaffney and James Navin to leadership team in aggressive push to take native video ads mainstream
SAN FRANCISCO – Sharethrough, the native video advertising company, today announced that it has raised $5 million in a Series B round from existing investors North Bridge Venture Partners and Floodgate. The new funding will be used to expand the adoption of the Sharethrough Sponsored Video platform by premium publisher sites and to accelerate development of its technology platform. Sharethrough currently distributes native video ads for 55 percent of the top 100 brands and over 85 percent of the top U.S. media agencies, and is quickly becoming the go-to source of native video monetization products and technology for publishers. The company is reporting 87 percent revenue growth over the past year.
In September 2012, the company released Sharethrough Sponsored Videos following a closed beta that included editorial publishers such as Forbes, millions of vertical independent media sites on the WordPress platform, and original social content publishers such as The Awl and Thought Catalog, among others. Sharethrough Sponsored Videos is a technology platform that enables web and mobile publishers to integrate premium native video ad placements into their existing content experience. The Sharethrough Sponsored Video platform reaches over 105 million people within the United States, as measured by comScore.
“Pre-roll, video ads, banners, buttons, boxes, pop-ups and other types of interruptive advertising are on the way out. Native advertising, which lets a site owner place branded content into the flow of a great user experience, is the emerging model. Facebook Sponsored Stories and Twitter Promoted Tweets have pioneered this for their own platforms, and Sharethrough is the first pure-play company to enable it for all properties in the online and post-PC worlds,” said Mike Maples, Managing Partner at FLOODGATE, whose other investments include Twitter, Bazaarvoice, and ngmoco.
The Sharethrough Sponsored Video platform is designed to solve the problem of delivering native advertising at scale. Marketers have rapidly turned to native ad solutions on premier social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and a select group of editorial publishers, but the customization required for each individual native ad prohibits advertisers from being able to efficiently run these campaigns at large scale. Sharethrough Sponsored Videos platform allows advertisers to deliver their video content across the web in native ad placements, providing the benefits of both reach and scale as well as the customization of ad units to make them native to the aesthetic and user experience of a publisher’s site.
“Beginning with major social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, publishers across the industry now are increasingly looking to native monetization models to provide future revenue growth and to improve their user experience across all properties, mobile or otherwise. Sharethrough’s platform will accelerate the process for publishers across the open web to create and monetize native advertising experiences. Sharethrough is positioned for significant growth in the years to come,” said Cali Tran, Principal, North Bridge Venture Partners.
“We’ve been fortunate at Sharethrough to be at the nexus of the most exciting parts of online advertising, social media and online video. Brands and their creative agencies have produced a creative renaissance through video and show no signs of stopping – we’ve seen a 55 percent increase in native video campaign size over the past year,” said Dan Greenberg, co-founder and CEO of Sharethrough. “We are now at an equally innovative time in media, where the fundamental design and experience of advertising is changing from interruptive, non-integrated experiences to native, social formats. Sharethrough is squarely focused on building the world’s leading native video network and developing products that will change the game for social media and video advertising.”
Sharethrough has also recently bolstered its executive team, adding former Auditude CRO Mike Gaffney as its new Chief Revenue Officer, and James Navin, formerly SVP, Operation at Federated Media, as Vice President of Strategic Operations. Each executive will contribute to the expansion of Sharethrough’s publishing partner network, native video ad product development and operations strategy.
Mike Gaffney comes to Sharethrough with an extensive advertising and sales background from some of the industry’s top technology companies. Most recently, he served as CRO for Auditude, a video advertising platform acquired by Adobe in 2011. In his role at Auditude, Gaffney was responsible for growing the company’s customer base of publishers, content owners, distributors and their advertising partners. From 2007-2009, Gaffney served as VP of Sales at Right Media, the first digital advertising exchange that was acquired by Yahoo! for more than $800 million in 2007. His technology career began in enterprise software at Oracle and includes a seven-year tenure at Salesforce.com where he served as a VP and was their 20th employee.
James Navin joins Sharethrough from Federated Media, where he most recently served as SVP Operations until early 2012. James’ broad professional background includes time spent in the internet, telecom, software, and energy industries in corporate functions ranging from Product Management to Business and Corporate Development to Operations. He came to Federated Media following two years of leading the Product function at Yipes, an enterprise network service provider.
Sharethrough is the leading provider of native video advertising technology solutions for brands and publishers. Fortune 1000 brands and their agencies work with Sharethrough to guarantee audiences and maximize social engagement for their original video content, and social web publishers partner with Sharethrough to create native, non-interruptive brand video placements via the Sharethrough Sponsored Video platform. Founded in 2008, Sharethrough is a privately held company based in San Francisco, Calif. For more information about Sharethrough, please visit www.sharethrough.com.