Social ad buying platform Adaptly has raised a total of $2.7 million in seed and Series A funding from First Round Capital, Charles River Ventures, Kirschenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners and Lerer Ventures. Angel investors also include Gary Vaynerchuk, Invite Media founder Nathaniel Turner and Interclick CEO Michael Katz .
Adaptly, which caters to clients like Pepsi’s Lipton/Brisk, makes it easier for brands to advertise across social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Plentyoffish by thinking outside of the display ads box. “Social is NOT display,” co-founder Nikhil Sethi tells me. “What’s really important for us is to socialize the evolution of display ads. Those two dots don’t get connected and they need to be.”
Adaptly has two components: A white-label ad platform as well as a fully managed service where a team member helps brands through the process, “Imagine spending $5 million dollars on StumbleUpon ad. It’s not an easy thing to do, that scale is what we bring to the table,” says Sethi.
The ads space right now is dominated by Facebook specific-buying agencies like Blink, AdParlor and the companies that apply search metrics right next to social like Efficient Frontier.
What Adaptly does differently than the other players is that it understands that integrating ads into a site like Twitter or LinkedIn is an entirely different process and extends beyond Facebook, “Our bet is that social is not just Facebook, but that it will evolve into other sites like LinkedIn and Tumblr. Facebook is roughly 47% of the pie.”
Adaptly recently moved its headquarters to NYC, and currently operates with a team of seven who mostly come from engineering backgrounds. Sethi tells me he will use the $2.7 million in recent funding to “build the most badass team” and has as an overall goal to put the “tech” in AdTech by building a really strong engineering-focused company.