June 5, 2014 – Yieldbot, a New York based ad-tech company that lets advertisers buy display ads via search-style keywords, has raised a $18 million series B round of funding, the company announced today.
Though Wall Street has been down on ad-tech lately, investors have not. The round, led by SJF Ventures, comes during a week of massive ad-tech funding announcements, with automated ad buying platform MediaMath and marketing technology company Yext netting $73.5 million and $50 million respectively.
"We want to keep scaling the business up," said Yieldbot CEO Jonathan Mendez, telling Ad Age he plans to hire more support and sales people with the funds, "and maybe do a little marketing too."
Founded in 2010, Yieldbot allows advertisers to buy display ads in the same way they would search. "We built the technology to mirror search," said Mr. Mendez. "The way search ads are bought and the way search marketing performs."
The company literally ports search campaigns into its platform, using the keywords which advertisers buy search ads against to serve display ads to consumers it believes express similar intentions.
Campaigns can also be built within the Yieldbot platform.
To determine the intent of web surfers, Yieldbot tracks their click streams, building a profile based on the pages they visit and which channel they enter websites through.
Giving an example, Mr. Mendez said Yieldbot can help advertisers selling bamboo patios with brown stain find the right consumers, by monitoring those who go to one page about bamboo patios and another about brown stain and then putting the data together.
"They're clicking on links, they're clicking on words and that has a lot of meaning," said Mr. Mendez.
The approach, he said, helps bring more value to digital publishers, as it helps them turn their own data into dollars. "I've always believed that publishers are sitting on a goldmine of first party data," he said. "We wanted to create a technology that would mine all that gold."
Publishers the company works with include Meredith, BlogHer and Rodale.
Yieldbot raised $10.5M in previous rounds. The 37-person company has offices in New York, Portland and the Boston Area. Mr. Mendez said he hopes to take the company up to 60 people by the end of the year and 100 by the end of 2015.