SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sharethrough, the largest in-feed advertising exchange, today announced that it has raised $17 million in debt and equity financing. The funds will be used to accelerate Sharethrough's growth through continued development of the Sharethrough Advertising Exchange (STX), the world's first in-feed advertising exchange, expanded software tools for publishers and increased engineering and product hiring.
Elevation Partners, Silver Creek, and Patrick Keane join existing investors North Bridge Venture Partners and Floodgate, in funding Sharethrough's fourth round of investment.
"We founded Sharethrough on the principle that the future of web monetization would be inextricably tied to meaningful brand content promoted through non-interruptive advertising experiences," said Dan Greenberg, CEO and co-founder of Sharethrough. "We kickstarted the conversation around 'native' advertising, which quickly became the focus of the media industry at large; we are already leading the next chapter of content marketing by offering the premier marketplace and technology for brand content and native advertising."
Sharethrough's 'in-feed' mobile ad technology, which enables publishers to create and sell native ads directly within their content feeds, has been a breakthrough for publishers to monetize their mobile sites and has led to partnerships with premium publishers including People, Real Simple, Health, Forbes, Popular Mechanics, USA Today Sports Media Group and IBT Media. Sharethrough's publisher network, measured at 227 million monthly uniques by Comscore, has the largest reach of any native advertising company. As a result of its size and quality of publisher partnerships, 23 of the top 25 AdAge Megabrands now use the Sharethrough platform to distribute their video, editorial and social content.
The recent round of funding will enable Sharethrough to broadly expand the technology that powers STX. A primary focus will be to enable native distribution of all forms of brand content and to further development of its algorithms for content quality and optimization. Additionally, Sharethrough will continue to develop new products to enable publishers to create, manage, and sell native ad campaigns directly.
"The native advertising investment, publisher, and market opportunity reminds of search in 2003. There is an emergent modern Internet driven by mobile, feed driven design, and user consumption, which demands native monetization," said Patrick Keane, president of Sharethrough. "I'm particularly excited about the opportunity that Sharethrough has created for advertisers and strongly believe that native is the inevitable mobile monetization strategy for all digital publishers."
According to a recent LinkedIn Marketing Solutions study, companies nearly tripled their spend on mobile advertising, from $1.2 billion in 2012 to $3 billion in 2013. In addition, publishers are rapidly carving out native mobile inventory to match this demand. On STX, the numbers have told a similar mobile growth story. Over the last three months STX has seen over a 250% growth in auctions served and is equipped to serve billions of mobile impressions every month.
"I invest in companies that re-imagine categories and invent new ones," said Roger McNamee, co-founder of Elevation Partners. "Online advertising is broken, and Sharethrough has the technology to fix it."
Sharethrough is a software company that powers in-feed advertising for brands and publishers. The Sharethrough Advertising Exchange (STX), which is the world's first exchange built for the modern Internet, allows Fortune 1000 brands and their agencies to drive engagement towards meaningful brand content on premium websites. Top media companies also partner with Sharethrough to create, manage, and monetize in-feed ads across all connected devices. Founded in 2008, the company now has over 85 full-time employees and is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in New York and Chicago. Please visit www.sharethrough.com to learn more.