It’s easy to get stuck on the “great product, no sales” trap. That’s not something New York-based Adaptly has to worry about. The startup was on track to generate around $10 million in revenue last year, and that’s with just one sales guy.
As of today, the company can turn on the revenue spigot. Adaptly raised a $10.5 Series B from Valhalla Partners, with participation from Time Warner Investments, Vivi Nevo, and previous investors First Round Capital, Gary Vaynerchuk, Charles River Ventures, Lerer Ventures, and kbs+p Ventures. Co-founder and CEO Nikhil Sethi says the money will go toward staffing out its sales force. Thus far, Adaptly’s 50-person team consists almost entirely of engineers.
The sales force has plenty of products to push. Alongside its funding news, Adaptly announced a new product called Evergreen. This is a tool that helps Facebook advertisers amplify their most effective content for max exposure.
Put simply, it’s a “poor man’s Reach Generator.”
Reach Generator is Facebook’s expensive play for branding dollars in the form of a brand message megaphone. Normally, a brand’s status updates only reach around 16 percent of their hard-won (or hard-bought, perhaps) followers. Advertisers with more than half a million fans can pay (dearly, apparently) to have Facebook amplify their status updates to a much higher percentage of their fans, as well as friends of fans, fans of friends, friends of fans of friends… You get the point.
Reach Generator is pricey and, for the time being, not available to the long tail. That’s where Adaptly comes into play. Adaptly’s services beyond Evergreen offer a similar value proposition. The company’s main product includes a social media ad and analytics platform that helps marketers make sense of, and smartly spend money on, their social media activities. Valhalla’s Kiran Hebbar said Adaptly’s Momentum analytics product, as well as its pipeline of offerings, attracted him to the company. “This team knows how to bring a product o market. They’ve built one product after another,” he says.
The name Evergreen sort of speaks to the social media best practice of “killing the campaign.” Ad work on social media is no longer this thing you spend months plotting, then finally unveil to great fanfare and sit back, reaping the benefits of your Great Branding Event for a few months before you think about trying another one. It’s always on. Even when brands aren’t talking about themselves, other people are, Sethi says. “Paid media in general is done by campaigns,” he says. “This is about persistently getting content to touch people you want it to touch.”
The cost of Evergreen is tiered by fan count. It’s not based on clicks, engagement, follows or page views. Only the total audience you want to reach. Facebook doesn’t see the product as competitive to its own products, because Adaptly is ultimately helping Facebook by educating clients as to how marketing on Facebook works. Facebook has reccomended business to Adaptly before, he says. So that explains all those unsolicited sales.
Adaptly is a DreamIt Ventures Philadelphia alum; total funding is $13.2 million.