Sharethrough's technology lets brands inject content that
already exists on the internet -- be it a YouTube video, Vine
video, photos posted to their sites, or articles that mention them
-- into content streams on more than 200 publisher sites. The
notion behind these ads is that they are noticed because they're in
the feed where most eyes are, not on the fringes where banners tend
Resulting revenue is shared with the company's publisher
partners, which include
Time Inc., Forbes, USA Today Sports Media Group and Abrams
Media, at varying splits. The company's CEO Dan Greenberg said that
customers -- which have included brand marketers like Pepsi, Jim Beam, Intel and
Clorox -- spend $100,000 per
campaign, on average.
Mr. Greenberg says he looks at the company's growth opportunity
through the lens of how many major publishers are incorporating
feeds -- or vertical streams of content, in the vein of the
Facebook news feed -- in the design of their websites and apps. The
added bonus is they work well on mobile devices which are optimized
for the feed and where banners are particularly challenged.
Last year, the company introduced the option for brands looking
to target a specific audience on mobile to buy programatically in
an auction-based system. It intends to add desktop inventory to
that mix, but mobile has been the priority, Mr. Greenberg said.
That's largely because of how many mobile sites are incorporating
"You could name any publisher off the top of your head, and I
almost guarantee that they're going to have a really clean mobile
news feed," he said.
Mr. Greenberg said he intends to grow the company's engineering,
sales and business development teams. (The latter is charged with
bringing publisher partners on board.) Sharethrough currently has
about 100 employees, and he expects to add 40 or 50 jobs this
Founded in 2008, the company has previously raised $11 million,
and the new $17 million round is in debt and equity financing.
Three new investors -- Elevation Partners, Silver Creek Ventures and
Sharethrough's own president Patrick Keane -- joined existing
investors Floodgate and North Bridge Venture Partners in
contributing to it.