How would you describe the last online ad you saw while scrolling through social media? Dull, repetitive, non-interactive? With the majority of ads created by automated platforms and delivered to your feed, the typical promotional material often makes us close the window tab rather than engage with the website, thus creating losses to businesses and, ultimately, repelling the customer. In a highly digitized world, technology is constantly evolving to offer better solutions to already existing problems. How can the local digital advertising tech sector help companies create more appealing ads?
On April 26, 2021, Bucharest-based digital marketing startup ProductLead announced closing a late-seed €600K investment, led by Romanian micro fund Sparking Capital and supported by Bulgarian Eleven Ventures and Swedish Founders Bridge. With the seed round of €120K, received from Sparking Capital, the total amount of funding for ProductLead thus reaches €720K. The money from the latest investment will be used for further development of the company, onboarding customers, with the ultimate goal of expanding to cover more countries in Central and Eastern Europe, DACH and the Nordic while strengthening the value proposition for ProductLead’s Series A round.
Founded in 2017 by Mihai Bocai and Alexander Stoica-Marcu, ProductLead has developed in the Creative as a Service niche, with its social media marketing platform offering social data analytics, creative automation, and integrations. The company is currently partnering with Facebook, TikTok and VTEX, and its clients also include cosmetics retailers Notino and Douglas, as well as Samsung.
Not a regular visual
With the increasing speed of digitization, the importance of digital advertising has been growing exponentially and the global market is expected to reach €329.58B in 2021. With these global developments, the competition at the market for creating more relevant automated advertising materials for the various audience groups has also become more contested. ProductLead team prides itself on enabling marketers to develop creatives ten times faster and cheaper than traditional platforms because of its creatives automation engine that enables mixing different data feeds to create interactive ads and stories that match a brand’s assets. The solution features big data analytics, allowing for keeping a record of the content performance and user-generated overview, along with predictive analytics. When it comes to the front end of a website, ProductLead also offers visual commerce tools such as shoppable interactive galleries and product feeds.
The new investors’ perspective
The platform has managed to attract the attention of two new investors – Bulgarian VC Eleven Ventures and Swedish Founders Bridge, which will likely assist the startup in connecting to the Nordic market through its extended network of experts in marketing and sales, expansion, tech, and legal advising.
“The number one reason we invest is always the team. Mihai and Alexander are serial entrepreneurs with a heavy background in social commerce and constantly on the look to improve themselves. But apart from the obvious, they are trying to solve a very big problem. Digital advertising has exploded over the last ten years and has grown to an extent where bots are bidding against other bots to capture the relevant audience. However, something that has not changed and is still done in the majority by humans are the creatives one has to put in the advertising platforms,” shared Hristo Hristov, Venture Partner at Eleven Ventures. Founders Bridge also added on the potential of the founding team, commenting that onboarding investors from three different countries proves ProductLead’s potential to scale globally.