Auto Advertising Startup adverCar Raises $2M From Canaan Partners, 1-800-Flowers, And Others

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AdverCar, a startup promising to make it easy for drivers to turn their vehicles into rolling advertisements, has raised a $2 million seed round.

The funding was led by Canaan Partners, with participation from 1-800-Flowers, Branford Castle Private Equity, New Orleans Startup Fund, Jit Saxena, and the TiE Angels Boston. 1-800-FLOWERS CEO Jim McCann and Canaan partner Deepak Kamra are joining adverCar’s board of directors.

Founder and CEO Neil Turner said there are other companies offering to wrap cars in advertising, but only adverCar has a solution that’s easy and affordable for advertisers. Wrapping a car in ads costs thousands of dollars, whereas adverCar mounts its ads as easily removable stickers that are the same size as standard ad units, and it charges around $280 for a monthlong campaign. That’s the same price as advertising on a cab, Turner said.

advercar car

Turner also pitched adverCar as a way to bring the kind of audience targeting found in the digital world to out-of-home advertising. When an advertiser signs up for a campaign, they identify the audience that they’d like to reach, then adverCar matches them with drivers whose cars are likely to be seen by that audience. Then, if a driver agrees to join a campaign, adverCar installs a GPS in their car for the duration of the campaign so advertisers get a map of where their message was seen. And the company has developed methods based on the Traffic Audit Bureau standards to calculate how many people actually saw the ad.

AdverCar has even created a fleet made up entirely of adverMoms — Turner said that’s the best way to reach other moms.

The company said it has already worked with dozens of advertisers and more than 5,000 drivers. Turner said he’s always driving around in a vehicle decked out with advertising. I asked if it felt strange at all, and he replied: “You notice for your first 20 minutes, but after that you forget they’re on. You do notice if you go to a grocery store, because people will be staring at your car.”