Google Ventures Leads $1 Million Investment in Rich-Media Ad Platform Republic Project

Tech to Make Rich Media Ads Cheaper, Easier on Different Screens

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Google Ventures is backing rich-media ad platform Republic Project in a $1 million Series A round that also includes participation from 500 Startups, Venture51, Ludlow Ventures, and Tremor Video co-founder Andrew Reis.

Republic Project is trying to lower the cost, and simplify the process, of creating rich-media ad campaigns that can run across websites, mobile devices, and even Facebook. The company has developed a content management system that lets agencies or brands use a template to easily add images, videos, and other interactive ingredients to standard IAB ad units, mobile web apps and Facebook apps all at one time. When you make a change in a system, all the different-sized units are updated at once.

"I can build a suite of ad units in under an hour, a campaign in a day," said CEO AJ Vernet.

After viewing a demo, Mr. Vernet's boast is believable. The ease of use and narrowing of turnaround times for a campaign, however, come with trade-offs. For one, Republic Project may not be right for advertisers who want every campaign to feature custom units for each type of screen they show up on. But you could see the platform being attractive to small or mid-sized advertisers who can't afford to optimize campaigns on their own for different screens and ad-unit sizes.

Still, some big brands, including Capital One and Sony, have already run campaigns using the technology.

Republic Project is also aggressively trying to bring down the cost of such campaigns by charging a flat fee of $5,000 a month per campaign, according to Mr. Vernet, who also runs Rey Interactive, a digital and video production company that does outsourced work for agencies and brands.

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