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UK start-up A Million Ads raises GBP2.3 million in seed funding ahead of formal US launch

A Million Ads, a London-based start-up making digital audio advertising more relevant and context-aware, has raised GBP2.3 million in seed funding. 

A Million Ads, which was founded by CEO Steve Dunlop, is a platform for producers and creatives to quickly and easily build millions of versions of an advertisement. The platform leverages information known about consumers, the brand and a campaign to influence the creative of the ad, such as the music, voice-over or sound effects. The result is highly relevant ads, which are delivered real-time, reducing noise for consumers. The ads are more context-aware, creating a more pleasant listening experience, therefore performing better than traditional advertisements. 

The company, which is already working with music streaming, internet radio and podcasting services around the world, producing campaigns for brands such as Virgin Atlantic, Audible, BMW, Ebay, British Airways and Deliveroo, is a recent graduate of the Founders Factory’s tech accelerator programme, where the media vertical is backed by GMG Ventures in partnership with The Guardian. A Million Ads is fully GDPR compliant and uses environmental and aggregate data to make ads feel more personal to each user. 

The audio market has recently experienced a resurgence thanks to developments in technology and consumer habits. Audio-on-demand (such as podcasting) is experiencing the same growth trend as music streaming and video-on-demand, benefiting the company’s core proposition. Moreover, there is clear demand from consumers for better quality, less invasive, more ethical and more relevant advertising. 

Funds raised in this round will see the company expanding its product to include video, as well as accelerating growth in the US, where the company already has a blue-chip client base. 

Dunlop says: “We are at the heart of two of the hottest trends in advertising – audio and personalisation. By innovating in the creative process, we provide the tools that advertisers need to reach consumers with more relevant and personalised content than ever before. This backing from our investors is a clear signal that we are on to something, and the funds will help accelerate our international growth as well as apply our personalisation know- how to other channels, starting with video where the market opportunity is clear.” 

Alan Hudson, Managing Partner from GMG Ventures LP, says: “Among its investment themes, GMG Ventures invests in talented founders, who are leading companies disrupting traditional media business models, including advertising. A Million Ads’ value is clear and tangible to both consumers and brands, while it benefits from significant market tailwinds. We are also excited about its US market traction to date, indicating an attractive growth opportunity for the company.”
David Glick, Founder and CEO at Edge Investments, says: “A Million Ads fits exactly with Edge’s investment remit; a creative-led, technology-enabled business run by an experienced and talented entrepreneur which is poised to become the leading player in this space by positively changing the consumer experience and delivering huge value to advertisers and publishers. With this additional capital, A Million Ads’ world-class technology and excellent team will propel it to the next stage of growth in the UK and overseas.”

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