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Promoted Raises $6 Million in Funding Round Led by Y Combinator

Promoted, which is the only company to unify search, feed, ads, and promotions for top marketplaces, announced that it has raised another $6 Million in seed funding, bringing the total amount raised to $8 Million. The funding round, led by Y Combinator, also included Interlace Ventures, Vela Partners and angel investors such as Michael Seibel, Group Partner and Managing Director at Y Combinator.

The latest funds will be used to help Promoted further develop its real-time streaming data infrastructure platform used by top marketplaces, as well as hire additional engineers for its growing team.

“Promoted helps large marketplaces and e-commerce apps achieve profitability at scale and react in real-time to how ads, search, listings and promotions perform,” said Michael Seibel, Group Partner and Managing Director at Y Combinator. “Promoted’s tools optimize marketplaces — leading to double digit conversion increases — and are becoming an integral component of how marketplaces make money. We are excited to continue to work with the Promoted team, who have deep experience in adtech engineering.”

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Right now, most large marketplaces have separate teams for ads, merchandising, search, and recommendations, and data is siloed. Even with expensive, tech savvy engineers, these businesses do not have a unified data infrastructure that can measure and then optimize the complete marketplace business: search, feed, promotions, and ads combined.

When ads, recommendations, promotions, and search aren’t optimized together, conversions are low, revenues drop, and there’s a death spiral as more ads and promotions are shown to compensate, further driving away users. Promoted is the only provider that offers a complete and comprehensive solution to fix this problem for e-commerce apps and marketplaces.

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Promoted’s secret sauce is its infrastructure that measures and optimizes everything in real-time in a way that empowers top engineering teams at big tech companies, like Pinterest, where founders Andrew and Dan met. Other ad tech or search vendors are designed to be drop-in replacements for weak engineering teams. Such drop-ins compound siloing and prevent the development of strong, in-house engineering talent.

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First, Promoted measures everything in its client’s app or marketplace, then they aggregate and join the data in real-time with reporting. Next, using AI-based data optimization, Promoted creates a complete picture of the data to predict conversion and clicks for the client’s search and feed.

Once Promoted has this complete picture of performance on a marketplace, it creates a “unified currency” for optimizing trade-offs between the optimal user experience in search and feed, seller experience using ads and promotions, and marketplace profitability versus growth.

“Top engineers at top marketplaces want to build great systems, but they can’t wait forever for internal ownership conflicts in engineering to resolve themselves —and neither can the business,” said Andrew Yates, Co-Founder and CEO of Promoted. “These businesses in this economic climate need to hit profitability quickly and that means optimizing their app to increase revenue. Our unifying real-time streaming data and ML infrastructure makes that possible for large marketplaces, and we are excited about the support from Y Combinator and the rest of our investors who see the fast ROI we are bringing to these businesses.”

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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