Los Angeles Business Journal

Online Ad Startup Raises $3.5 Million

By Natalie Jarvey Tuesday, April 23, 2013

So-called native advertising has become a big topic.

Online versions of advertorials – say, sponsored posts or promoted Tweets – have become all the rage among digital publishers such as Forbes, Atlantic Media and Buzzfeed.

So it’s no surprise that a Long Beach provider of native advertising technology is a hit with investors.

Nativo Inc. announced Tuesday that is has raised $3.5 million in funding led by Greycroft Partners with participation from San Francisco venture capital firm E.Ventures. Existing investor Signia Venture Partners in Menlo Park also contributed to the series A round, which brings Nativo’s total investments to $5.3 million.

Nativo works with brands such as Ford, Dell and T-Mobile to place ads that have the look and feel of editorial content. For example, Ford might sponsor a story on a car blog about how to detail a truck.

The Long Beach startup will use the money to continue to develop its technology platform, which allows online publishers to activate, deploy and manage native ad placements across a number of devices.

“We have worked hard to build an amazing platform and, as a result, have received exceptionally positive marketplace feedback,” Nativo Chief Executive Justin Choi said in a statement. “Greycroft’s deep experience in media makes them the perfect strategic partner.”