BounceX Raises $6.5M To Make Advertising Less Obnoxious

Bounce Exchange, a startup that helps websites strategically advertise by analyzing user behavior, has pulled in $6.45 million in new funding.

500Friends founder and angel investor Justin Yoshimura led the Series A-1 round, with participation from Contour Venture Partners, Primary Venture Partners, and New York Yankees’ All-Star Alex Rodriguez.

According to BounceX founder and CEO Ryan Urban, the current method of converting website visitors looks more like “attacking people” than selling them something useful.

When you’re reading an article or browsing a website, the last thing you want is a huge advertisement to pop up and take over the screen.

“Clients have goals they have to hit and they want to be super aggressive with visitors,” says Urban. “But not everyone wants to buy a subscription, and you shouldn’t be asking every single person to join your email list.”

Instead, BounceX watches the behavior of each user — how they entered the site, how long they’re there, what they’re looking at, and if they’re commenting or sharing, among other metrics — and adjusts the marketing accordingly.

Someone who reads multiple business-related articles and shares them on Twitter, for instance, is a much better target for a yearly subscription to TIME than someone who reads half of one article about celebrities that popped up on Facebook.

“If you want to improve your online business, whether you’re Amazon or a growing startup, you can either increase traffic, or you can increase the rate at which that traffic converts,” says Urban.

The latter option is especially relevant for e-commerce sites, which currently see an average add-to-cart rate of 8 percent and an average conversion rate of about 2 percent.

“There are all of these micro-conversion behaviors that you do on an e-commerce product page, whether you filter by size, style or color,” says Urban. “The problem right now is that the site is the same for every visitor, so instead we’re optimizing for certain behavioral patterns to recommend categories that are actually interesting to you.”

BounceX is currently working with over 800 clients that range from startups, such as Handy and Plated, to big publishers such as CNBC, USA Today and TIME.

The company has grown surprisingly quickly in the past three years, especially considering that it had only taken in $1.5 million in seed funding prior to this round.

Launched in 2012, BounceX currently employs over 100 people (more than triple the number employed at this time last year) and reports millions in annual revenue.