Struq recently raised $8.5 million in a Series A funding round. The round included investment from Reed Elsevier Ventures, Pentech Ventures and Allen & Company LLC. Here Sam Barnett, Struq CEO, discusses the Series A raise as well as an overview of the Struq business going forward.
Congratulations on your series A funding round. What will you be doing with the new fund raise? More product development? Overseas expansion?
We are planning to open a number offices globally to service new demand. This will enable Struq to bring Ad Personalization to advertisers and agency campaigns across the US and Europe.
We are also planning to allocate more financial resources to innovation and product development. We are one of a few businesses globally who have built a complete ad technology stack in-house (DSP, bid optimisation engine, recommendation engine and dynamic creative optimisation), which has allowed us to deliver performance and ad personalisation to our clients. That is credit to the incredible team we have at Struq. A sizeable portion of our investment will be used to hire exceptional talent who will be focused on innovating for the benefit of clients and consumers.
Retargeting companies have been incredibly successful in display. How are Struq going to remain competitive as more companies seek to own the bottom-of-the-funnel budget?
The real time advertising market is evolving extremely fast, and there are many success stories we note and respect amongst our peers. Our real competitive strength comes from understanding the behavioural patterns which makes users likely to purchase. This enables Struq to deliver relevant, personalised video and display ads to consumers as well as post click performance for advertisers.
We have also invested heavily in building out a talented team within the company. Genuine, competitive advantage is being able to have a team that can adapt and innovate as fast as the ever changing needs of the market. At Struq we will continue to seek out the best talent to meet and exceed the evolving needs of our clients and consumers.
Does Struq need to move more up the purchase funnel, and look at prospecting instead of retargeting a client’s data set?
Yes – and we offer this now. We apply our core piece of technology – understanding the behavioural patterns which makes users likely to purchase – across the purchase funnel for advertisers.
Struq’s Ad Personalization platform enables an advertiser to persuade an audience at any stage of the purchase funnel. This extends beyond retargeting to delivering personalised ads to prospective users at the top of the funnel.
Advertisers using Struq across the purchase funnel benefit from unique insight into which combination of ad elements, products, placements and content persuaded users to perform an advertiser’s desired action. This insight provided by Struq provides advertisers with information on what persuaded a user to buy their products. Marketers can then apply that knowledge across their marketing channels to make their budget work more effectively.
How are Struq going to work with agencies? Can you really work with agency holding groups? Is it possible?
We have significant relationships with many of the largest agencies and holding groups where we provide the tools for agencies to personalize display and video ads for new and existing users. Agencies want to use the best of breed technologies to deliver the greatest post click ROI for their advertisers, and we are really fortunate to work with so many great agencies.
Is Struq looking to move into video retargeting? Is this a huge area for growth?
We are active in online video advertising. We’re focused on delivering personalized ads against audiences, and this includes audiences who are found on video inventory. We want to deliver personalized ads across any format and on any device to persuade that individual to click and buy an advertiser’s products – video is a big part of that.