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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.


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

Native Advertising Examples

What is native advertising?

If you’re following advertising industry news, “native advertising” seems to be the latest buzzword. As is usually the case with new technologies and their implementations, the term is thrown around loosely. While the “native ad” is fairly easy to define, the term ‘native advertising’ is a lot more broad.

Below is an overview of the many forms of native advertising seen today, some work better than others, depending on the platform, the content, and how well they integrate with the user/viewer native experience. 

We’ve narrowed down a few methods of native advertising examples with emphasis on the most common forms of native ads seen across the web today.


In-feed native ads

Simply put, “in-feed” native ads exactly what they sound like, native advertising units that are created to match the website’s look, feel, and format of the site that in which they appear on. These native ads are probably the most commonly seen native ad units. From a publisher’s perspective, In-feed native ads allows the monetization of sections of their website where they previously couldn’t, while advertisers and marketers can regain premium advertising placements with greater value.


Advertorials, Branded Content

With origins in the print publishing industry, Advertorials are the most complex form of native advertising. Rather then having a simple native ad with minimal to no actual “branded” content like other forms of native advertising, advertorials pack content marketers and brands are looking to get across their audience. Advertorials are most effective when they uphold high quality writing standards, and when the advertiser is well aware of the publisher’s audience, their psychographics and demographics.


Advertorials – “sponsored” content

The other side of advertorial content is similar to branded content, but it’s much more about real promotion of the brand itself.
Rather than a written piece that mimics original articles on a site or is directly relevant to the type of stories that are common to the publisher’s site, sponsored content is more promotional material written to specifically convey the brand marketer’s message.


Content Recommendation Widgets

These are one of the most used forms of native advertising examples you’ll see on the web today.


Sponsored Social Media Posts

These native advertising examples allow brands to utilize their social media to reach their audience directly. They use the form of in-feed units to promote their brands and usually it’s always accomplished by targeting their users behaviorally.

4 min read