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Social Ad Tech Platform Glow Raises $1.3M Seed To Expand Into U.S., Beef Up Senior Exec Team

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Glow Digital Media, a social advertising technology platform that sells services to Facebook advertisers to grow their marketing ROI, has closed a $1.3 million seed funding round. Investors in the round include Project A Ventures and Avonmore Developments.

The U.K. startup, founded back in 2009, said it has used the funding to expand into the U.S. — opening a new regional HQ in Los Angeles and hiring four new senior execs, including David Wamsley who will lead the new office as VP, Sales & Strategic Partnerships, US. The other new senior hires cover “key positions overseeing data science, business development, product management”, according to Glow.

In September last year the company was named one of 12 Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developers (PMD) — along with 77Agency, Adobe, AdParlor, Alchemy Social, Brand Networks, Kenshoo, Nanigans, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SHIFT (GraphEffect), SocialCode and Spruce Media — something which Glow says has helped spur its growth. Facebook describes the Strategic PMD category as “a designation reserved for a small group of PMDs that are driving outstanding positive impact in our marketing developer ecosystem”.

Glow’s flagship product is called Glow Machine — which gives advertises tools to create and optimise multi-format ad campaigns, track and build engagement, and view data dashboards and analytics. The company’s client-base has included Best Buy, Bacardi, Kraft, Honda and Mercedes-Benz — currently Glow says it has “over 80 sophisticated performance customers and global agencies around the world”.

Founder Damian Routley attributes the business’ ability to attract “massive advertisers” — name-checking the likes of Groupon, King.com and Mercedes-Benz — to being able to offer a highly customisable ad creation and tracking service.

“Their requirements are about ultimate flexibility, ultimate granularity. They don’t want a very rigid system where they have to do a step process… they need a very flexible system where they can track it in the way they want to track it,” he tells TechCrunch, noting that Glow integrates with third party tracking systems such as DoubleClick. “They want a system where they can create custom bid rules and optimise it using the approach that makes sense to their business.”

On the ad engagement component of its offering, Routley describes this is a relatively new area for Glow but says Glow is building tools to help brands reach and engage with their target demographic via the Facebook newsfeed.

“The majority of the interactions that people have with brands happens within the newsfeed environment — whether that’s desktop or mobile — and we’re building some really cool stuff that helps those brands reach the type of people they want to reach within that environment and then understand the differences between an organic distribution of those messages vs the paid distribution of those messages,” he says.

Glow’s full release follows below.

Glow Digital Media closes $1.3M seed round of financing; investors include Project A Ventures GmbH And Avonmore Developments Ltd. 
New funding allows Glow to accelerate its growth, further develop its social advertising platform for Facebook, and rapidly expand into the U.S. market.   

London, UK  31st January, 2013 – Glow Digital Media, a provider of Facebook ad technology solutions to marketers, announced today that it has received $1.3M in seed funding.

Glow’s latest funding has enabled it to hire four new senior executives and expand into the U.S. marketplace by opening a new regional headquarters in Los Angeles, California. David Wamsley, an ad tech pioneer and 15-year veteran in the high-tech start-up world will lead the new office.
Glow’s proprietary social ads platform, Glow Machine, helps direct response advertisers build and manage their Facebook advertising campaigns to reach their target audiences more effectively.

Founded in 2009, Glow has experienced rapid growth, most recently spurred on by the announcement in September 2012 that the firm has been named one of only twelve Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developers (SPMD) worldwide, the highest accreditation Facebook gives to marketing developers.

According to Damian Routley, CEO of Glow, “Our status as one of Facebook’s strategic preferred marketing developers is testament to the nimble and innovative team at Glow and will be one of the key drivers of growth for us in 2013.”

Glow has bolstered its senior team with hires in key positions overseeing data science, business development, product management as well as David Wamsley in the role of VP, Sales & Strategic Partnerships, US.

After over three years of continuous development, the Glow Machine has become a leading platform for large direct response advertisers, as well as the digital agencies who serve that clientele.

About Glow Digital Media

Glow sells a self-serve license for its Facebook advertising platform, or is available as a fully-managed solution. Currently it provides services to over 80 sophisticated performance customers and global agencies around the world, including King.com, Omnicom, Blue Ant Media, Bacardi, Kraft, and Mercedes Benz. Glow is a privately owned and independent company with industry expertise in Gaming, eCommerce, Financial Services, Travel, and Automotive.