AdRoll Raises $15M For Ad Retargeting, Round Led By Foundation Capital

AdRoll, one of the leaders in online ad retargeting, has raised a new $15 million round of funding.

Back in February, the company announced that it had quadrupled revenue and become profitable in 2011. AdRoll now says it has more than 5,000 customers and is adding almost 500 new ones every month.

The round was led by Foundation Capital, with participation from previous investors Merus Capital and Accel Partners. (AdRoll raised a $4 million first round way back in 2008.) Foundation’s Charles Moldow is joining the board, and in the funding press release he calls AdRoll “the best-in-breed platform” and says that “nearly every brand selling goods or services online now recognizes retargeting as an essential marketing tool.”

Retargeting means that ads are targeted based a consumer’s past behavior, usually if they visit a website but leave without making a purchase. When I spoke to Vice President of Sales Suresh Khanna earlier this year, he told me that before he left Google and joined AdRoll, he’d had a “knee jerk” reaction to the concept — but he argued that retargeting should be about more than just bombarding someone with kitchen knife ads if they abandon an online shopping cart with knives. Instead, the industry needs to “push beyond that” to take advantage of “all the data you have on all your customers.”

AdRoll says its plans include increasing the reach of its real-time inventory and introducing mobile, video, and social products. It was recently announced as an initial partner on the Facebook Exchange, a real-time bidding system where visitors to outside websites are marked with a cookie and then shown related ads when they come to Facebook. We’re now hearing that AdRoll is putting serious engineering resources into the exchange.