Twenty-five percent of the population controls 75 percent of the spending, and advertisers will pay big bucks to advertise to find them. That’s Martini Media‘s job. This focus and the $22 million to $27 million it expects to earn in 2013 has helped it raise a $14 million Series D. Now it’s ready to build a programmatic self-serve way to pepper the upper crust with ads.
Martini started back in 2008, incubated by Bedrock, and was focused on reaching affluents (people making over $100,000 a year) since the beginning. COO and CFO Erik Pavelka tells me “This audience was underserved in so many ways.”
Martini’s solution is technology that sniffs out affluent people on the web. It leans heavily on the IAB Rising Star ad units that can be reduced in size by viewers. It also uses interactive ad units that can pull in Twitter feeds, video content and more.
Today it handles most of its clients, including Audi, American Express, Chase, and Emirates Airlines, on a managed spend basis, but its business is moving toward programmatic self-serve ad buying. It works with 300 different publishers and about 1,000 sites like Forbes, Tennis.com, Wall Street Cheat Sheet, and Salon to place its ads.
But like a railroad Barron eying the old west, Martini dreams of something bigger. Right now it’s only targeting the 100 million affluent people in the US and Europe.
So the company has raised a total of $20 million, with this new $14 million Series D round led by long-time Martini investors Venrock, Granite Ventures, Reed Elsevier Ventures, and Silicon Valley Bank. The money will fund technology enhancements for its self-serve tool and international expansion. “This investment to create technology will allow us to scale geographically and culturally to the remaining 350 million affluent worldwide,” Martini CEO Skip Brand tells me.
“2013 is a year of reinvesting” says Pavelka. “In 2014 it will be a combination, but we’ll definitely see profitability in 2014.” While it’s already on its D round, the company isn’t planning on going public anytime soon. “An IPO is something I’d love to see in the future, but at the same time I’m a realist and understand some of the inherent challenges of the public market. It’s something I’m not considering in the near term,” says Martini’s CEO.
In the meantime, it will keep selling lifestyle to the rich and famous with a lot more cash in its own pocket.
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