StackAdapt raises $900k to develop native ad platform

But future funding from Canadian investors may be hard to come by

StackAdapt cofounder Ildar Shar

Toronto-based native advertising company StackAdapt has received $750,000 in seed funding from the Investment Accelerator Fund, an Ontario government organization that supports early-stage tech startups, and Slaight Communications, a Canadian broadcast media company owned by the Slaight family.

An additional $150,000 in debt financing was provided by the Business Development Bank of Canada, bringing total financing to $900,000.

StackAdapt co-founder and CEO Ildar Shar said the funding would primarily be used to develop the company’s native programmatic platform, which detects an online ad’s environment and re-designs it to match surrounding content as the page loads.

Shar said that despite the “native” moniker, many native ad networks are offering standard-size and standard-designed ads that change the colours and font to match nearby content. But StackAdapt hopes to go make the ad’s design and placement a lot more dynamic.

“RTB allows us to change a lot of things on the go. In that instant when the page loads, we can analyze a lot of elements on the page to make dynamic decisions about how the page and ad will look,” he said.

New hires on StackAdapt’s software team will focus on making the platform more dynamic and real-time.

The funding will also bolster StackAdapt’s sales teams at its new offices in London and New York. StackAdapt, formerly called Collective Roll, was founded last year and employs roughly 17 people.

Shar said that seeking further funding may prove more difficult, since many of Canada’s venture capital firms are already heavily invested in mature ad tech startups like Chango and Polar Mobile. He said the company may look south of the border for its eventual Series A.

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