YC-Backed Boostable Offers A New Way For Online Sellers To Advertise

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Boostable, which is part of the current class of startups at Y Combinator, says it’s giving the individual sellers on online marketplaces a smarter way to promote themselves.

If someone’s trying to promote, say, their products on Etsy, or their events on Eventbrite, or their housing on Airbnb, they can already buy ads for themselves. However, co-founder and CEO Selcuk Atli (pictured) said that many of those sellers “don’t have the time or the expertise” to actually do so. Or if they do, it’s hard to tell whether their ads are actually paying off — sure, they may (or may not) see an uptick in sales and traffic, but they won’t know how much of it was actually driven by a given ad or campaign.

Boostable, on the other hand, has integrated with various marketplaces to offer these sellers “a massively simple solution,” Atli said. Using the URL of their store, sellers are supposed to be able to sign up and create an ad within minutes. The ads will actually be branded as an ad for the broader marketplace, but they’ll be paid for by the individual seller and point to that seller’s web page.

Boostable ads currently run on Facebook, and they can be targeted using the social network’s data. The company also offers analytics showing whether a given campaign is actually driving increased sales.

The Boostable team has prior experience with social ads — Atli was founder at SocialWire, which creates product ads for online retailers, while his co-founder and CTO Alex Chang was previously co-founder and chief product officer at Social Amp, which was acquired by Merkle.

Atli said Boostable has partnered with nearly a dozen marketplaces so far, but the only one he can announce right now is online education marketplace Udemy.

“Our Udemy instructors — sellers on our marketplace — are our best marketers,” said Udemy co-founder and CEO Eren Bali in a press release. “Most advertising platforms are not designed for these sellers and it is difficult for our instructors to attribute their ad spend to conversion data on Udemy. With Boostable, our instructors can easily buy ads and see results.”

Boostable has raised more than $500,000 in seed funding from investors including SVAngel, 500 Startups/Dave McClure, Fuel Capital, Nanigans CEO Ric Calvillo, and LiveRamp CEO Auren Hoffman.