Our Terms of Use & Cookie Policy

StackAdapt uses cookies to improve your online experience. Cookies are used to help us better understand where our visitors are coming from, recognize you when you sign in to the platform, or better personalize pages you visit. Cookies are placed on your computer automatically but if you chose to opt out from any tracking, you can change your cookie settings through your browser.

Hide

StackAdapt Announces $1M in Series A Funding to Build on Success of Native Advertising Platform

TORONTO, Jan. 28, 2016 /CNW/ – StackAdapt, a native advertising platform that helps Fortune 500 brands and agencies reach new audiences through their branded content, announced they’ve closed a growth round led by Plaza Ventures, a Toronto-based VC firm that has invested in over 50 technology companies since 1998. The company will use the investment to scale its self-serve demand-side native advertising platform, and to add to its team.

“We’re excited to announce this strategic relationship with Plaza Ventures since they have a deep understanding of the technology and ad tech ecosystem,” said Ildar Shah, co-founder of StackAdapt. “Brands and agencies have readily adopted our native ads solution since launch, and we plan to use this funding to scale the self-serve platform and help them drive more meaningful interactions with their branded content.”

StackAdapt works with a growing number of clients from verticals including travel and technology, who have launched over 1,500 native advertising campaigns on the self-serve platform to promote branded content. StackAdapt’s clients include AdZouk, Iowa Tourism, and m2, an agency owned by IPG. In order to meet demand from brand and agency customers, the company plans to hire across all functions in its Toronto office, including product, tech, customer success, sales, and marketing.

“As brands look for more meaningful ways to reach customers, it’s clear that native advertising adds more value than banner ads, which are increasingly ignored,” said Rob Richards , Managing Partner at Plaza Ventures. “StackAdapt has created a best-in-class platform with unique functionality and scalability, and we’re excited to partner with them to expand their presence in the ad tech space.” Mr. Richards is joining StackAdapt’s Board of Directors.

StackAdapt has partnered with over 30 major native advertising exchanges including TripleLift, AdsNative, InMobi, and European native advertising company Adyoulike, making it one of the world’s largest buying platform for distributing branded content. The company’s platform accesses native ad inventory across over 35,000 publisher sites including ABC News, Reuters, USA Today and Popular Science. Clients use the platform on a self-serve basis and can access the global supply of native advertising from a single intuitive interface.

In November StackAdapt released benchmarks highlighting the effectiveness of native ads compared to display ads. Research showed that ads placed through StackAdapt have an average click-through rate of 0.4-0.8 per cent, which is around 10x higher than the average 0.06 per cent click-through rate on display ads (Smart Insights).

About StackAdapt:
StackAdapt is one of the world’s leading native advertising platforms, providing brands and agencies a single access point for the global supply of native advertising, both via in-feed ads and content recommendation widgets. StackAdapt has worked with some of the most notable Fortune 500 companies and agencies since its launch in 2013. StackAdapt was started by Ildar Shar, Vitaly Pecherskiy and Yang Han, and is based in Toronto, Canada. Find out more at www.StackAdapt.com.

About Plaza Ventures:
Plaza Ventures invests in Series A financing of high-growth technology companies with a unique rolling micro-fund model. The PV Investment Partner Program co-invests angel capital with corporate and institutional capital alongside other VCs and family offices, and applies the experience of angel LPs to build enterprise value. Plaza Ventures has invested in early stage funds and accelerators acrossCanadaand has completed follow-on investments in graduates from these programs. Read more about Plaza Ventures at PlazaVentures.ca and www.linkedin.com/company/plaza-ventures.

4 min read

Marketing Magazine names Vitaly Pecherskiy to its 30 under 30 list

The StackAdapt team is very proud to have our Co-Founder, Vitaly Pecherskiy, named as Marketing Magazine’s 30 under 30.

Below is the entry, as published by Marketing Magazine on October 7th:

Last year Vitaly Pecherskiy set out on a mission to exploit the intersection of native advertising and programmatic media. He co-founded StackAdapt, a platform for publishers to create custom ad units that match their editorial content and put them up for auction on a real-time ad exchange. The only native programmatic company in Canada, StackAdapt represents 3,000 publishers globally, and has worked on campaigns for Ford, GE and Sport Chek.

“Vitaly’s not afraid of thinking big and taking the risks necessary to accomplish those big-thinking goals,” says fellow Toronto entrepreneur Alex Smith, founder of ContactMonkey. “He’s definitely not risk-averse, and he’s thought a lot about how to grow a business very large.”

Like a lot of entrepreneurs, Pecherskiy’s entry into emerging tech was serendipitous. He immigrated from Russia initially to attend school at Lakehead and the University of Ottawa, receiving a degree in finance, and then settled in Toronto to look for work. Down the street from his home was a hot social ad startup called AdParlor. Pecherskiy knocked on the door, chatted with some folks, and ended up with a full-time position.

A year later, AdParlor was acquired by AdKnowledge, a global digital ad network. Pecherskiy moved on to Xaxis, the programmatic trading arm of WPP. There he met Ildar Shar, a fellow Russian immigrant working at Mindshare, and got to talking about the industry’s weak points. Web advertising was fundamentally flawed, they agreed – ads weren’t performing, consumers weren’t engaging, and at the end of it all, advertisers just weren’t that interested.

The problem was the web’s dominant advertising format – the banner. It’s boring, irrelevant, ignorable. Yet advertisers have come to rely on it as the best way to get large scale for low cost.

Pecherskiy and Shar left WPP in 2013 to investigate the problem, together with Yang Han, an engineer who’d just finished working on real-time stock trading technology at Bloomberg. At first they tried to save the banner – finding ways to adaptively scale it or change its size to better fit its context. But eventually the team realized that the banner would have to be thrown out.
“It’s fundamentally not performing,” Pecherskiy recalls. “So we thought maybe we could take on something more challenging, more speculative. Take a little bit more risk, but then build something that could potentially change the way advertising is done.”
Their solution was a native ad unit that adapts all its parameters – font, size, colour scheme, even content – to the content around it. Advertisers would submit raw text and images, which would be poured into a template designed by the publisher to match the design of the site.

Programmatic was the natural next step. The process for translating advertiser input into finished native ads was already automated – which meant it could be tacked on to automated ad buying. Pecherskiy and Shar decided the platform to implement their solution was a real-time programmatic ad exchange, where buyers could bid on the most relevant and cost-effective placements, using data. With enough publishers on board, an exchange could give buyers access to a mountain of specialty native units across hundreds or thousands of sites.

The StackAdapt platform rolled out in spring 2014 (then under the name Collective Roll), and has since grown to 15 staff and launched a U.S. office. Pecherskiy, as VP publisher relations, was (and still is) in charge of building out the exchange’s supply base. Since then he’s roped several thousand publishers into adding StackAdapt’s native units to their sites, like Songza, Jango and The Christian Post.

As native advertising gains steam in the digital ecosystem, Pecherskiy’s confident he chose the right corner of ad tech. “The trend that I think is really going to make a difference in the coming years is the shift from disruptive advertising towards involvement advertising,” he says. “Users no longer respond to direct-response messages where they’re being bombarded with ads… that whole approach is dying out very fast. I think the future of advertising lies in brands producing engaging and meaningful content, where they enrich users lives.”

4 min read

StackAdapt Raises $900K To Fuel Growth

StackAdapt announces $900K seed round. Additional capital will help fuel StackAdapt’s growth and help bring its scalable Native Advertising technology across the web.

Ildar Shar, CEO:

I am excited to announce today that we have closed our Seed Round of financing. Aside from receiving external validation for the work that we have done to date at StackAdapt, I am thrilled to see the rapid change in the online world. From the raw and somewhat chaotic Internet as we came to know it in the 90s and 2000s, we see it turning into a transparent, safe, and a fair playground for human interaction and digital innovation. We are honoured to be one of the companies to help shape it this way.

Financing, totalling $900K, was lead by IAF (Investment Accelerator Fund), Slaight Communications, and complimented by the debt financing from BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada). These funds are primarily aimed to fuel further growth and expansion of their development team in Toronto, and to support the growth of their satellite offices in New York and London.

Background

It is no secret that virtually no one is clicking on banners. Banner advertising has been around nearly as long as the Internet itself, so it comes as no surprise that we all got really good at ignoring them.

With media consumption shifting online, media companies struggle to monetize their online properties due to poorly performing ad units. Adding mobile to the mix introduces a recipe for an online publisher to run a charitable organization.

Some of the most progressive technology companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have embraced native advertising as the new emerging format of monetization. However, for non-technology focused media companies it is not scalable to build their own technology to sell their native inventory. StackAdapt introduces the technology that powers their capability to sell that native ad inventory at scale.

Unlike existing banner ad infrastructures that support only static imagery, StackAdapt’s technology is built to support responsive, dynamic units that vary from site to site, making the user experience seamless for everyone on the web.

With clients spanning 4 continents, StackAdapt’s scalable technology powers the programmatic native advertising ecosystem globally.

4 min read