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Display Retargeter AdRoll Banks $15 Million Funding Round

Company will put money toward platform, expansion
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The dollars continue to flow into ad tech. On the heels of PubMatic’s $45 million funding round and Rocket Fuel’s $50 million round last month, online ad retargeting firm AdRoll has grabbed $15 million in its latest funding round, announced Wednesday. AdRoll’s president Adam Berke said the company plans to put those dollars towards the firm’s technology platform and growing out the company’s footprint.

“We have a broader vision for what we see as the opportunity for data-driven marketing and helping brands leverage their customer data and do intelligent things with it that make their marketing more interesting and more relevant. And this funding will help us execute on this vision,” Berke said. He added that AdRoll plans to make its platform more nimble from a data warehousing and real-time bidding perspective for the varying size of the advertisers that use it. “Today we have people spending as little as $100 and as much as $100,000 a month on the platform,” he said.

AdRoll works with more than 5,000 brands, including travel, technology and B-to-B advertisers, that use the firm’s platform to retarget online ads to users based on their browsing behavior. But as with PubMatic, AdRoll will use its new funding to expand beyond its online display bailiwick. Berke said the company is looking to invest in mobile and social. AdRoll’s already making headway in the latter, having been selected as an initial partner of the Facebook Exchange, which lets companies target ads to users on Facebook based on their off-Facebook browsing activity.

In addition to the technology investment, AdRoll will also use the latest funding round to grow beyond its 85-employee San Francisco headquarters. Among the likely locations for new offices are New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Europe, Asia and South America, specifically Brazil, Berke said.

Foundation Capital led AdRoll’s latest funding round with existing investors Accel Partners and Merus Capital also participating. Accel and Merus had been involved in the company’s first funding round in 2008 during which AdRoll nabbed around $4 million, according to paidContent.

AdRoll has been around since 2007, and retargeting isn’t necessarily a new thing in display advertising circles, but it’s certainly been buoyed by the popularity of real-time bidding so that brands can more finely target their ads to users. “Retargeting is becoming a must-have marketing channel, just like paid search, just like email, and we think the approach that we’ve taken in building tools and analytics, insteading of just handing over a [direct-response] campaign to a retargeting ad network, makes us useful for a broader range of customer types outside of just retail,” Berke said.