AdKeeper Inc., the unique online advertising company led by About.com founder Scott Kurnit, has raised $35 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Oak Investment Partners, who joins a prestigious lineup of investors in supporting the company. The funding will be used to grow one of the strongest online media startups in history, with the largest group of charter advertisers ever assembled by a new company and a dream team of executive talent.
AdKeeper™ is a transformative online advertising service that will change the way consumers interact with the Internet. The company emerged from stealth in October 2010 with a pledge to empower consumers to engage with online advertising on their own time and terms. For the first time, consumers will be able to save ads for later, without interrupting their primary online activities. They can go back to their private, personal Keepers™ to review ads they’ve kept when they have the time and inclination. The system works with the simple click of the Keep Button™ which is embedded in the ad during production. No software, browser extensions, plug-ins or pre-registration are required. Click. Kept. Period.
“We welcome Oak to the AdKeeper team and we’re honored to be selected by one of the most prestigious and discerning venture capital firms,” Kurnit said in making the announcement. “With a 32-year history, Oak has achieved a stellar reputation backing industry-leading and innovative growth companies. This investment demonstrates Oak’s confidence in AdKeeper’s business model and our ability to deliver on the promise of driving the evolution of online advertising.”
Fred Harman, Managing Partner of Oak Investment Partners will join AdKeeper’s Board of Directors. Harman is currently on the Boards of several Internet media companies, including Demand Media, Federated Media and the Huffington Post and was previously on the Board of industry-leading Internet advertising services company aQuantive.
“Fred’s track record for investing in and helping to build successful Internet companies gives us a strategic advantage,” noted Kurnit. “I’m delighted that he’s joining our team.”
“We believe AdKeeper’s solution for keeping ads will be an important and welcome addition to the Internet ecosystem,” commented Harman. “By giving consumers a simple way to transform one of their most common offline practices into an online experience, AdKeeper will fulfill a need that has long been overlooked. This is a company with exceptional leadership and a very compelling market opportunity and business model.”
Oak joins earlier investors, including DCM, True Ventures, Spark Capital, First Round Capital, Lerer Ventures, Stan Shuman, The New York Times Company, Betaworks, David Cowan and Scott Kurnit. Series A investor DCM has significantly increased its ownership stake as part of this financing.
AdKeeper has been embraced by the largest group of charter advertisers for any new media launch, ever. These leading companies include: Allstate, Ally Bank, AT&T, Best Buy, CBS, Ford, Gap, General Mills, InterContinental Hotels Group, JetBlue, Kia Motors, Kmart, Kraft Foods, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Pepsi, Sara Lee, Sears, Showtime, The Advertising Council, The Home Depot, Unilever and Warner Bros.
The company’s Advisory Board boasts industry luminaries Bob Greenberg (R/GA), Janet Robinson (The New York Times Company), John Battelle (Federated Media), Jeremy Allaire (Brightcove), Ken Lerer (Huffington Post), Bijan Sabet (Spark Capital), John Borthwick (Betaworks), Wenda Harris Millard (MediaLink), David Rosenblatt (Former DoubleClick), Peggy Conlon (The Advertising Council), David Cowan (Bessemer Ventures), Esther Dyson (Former PC Forum), and George Schweitzer (CBS).
AdKeeper currently operates in private beta, in preparation for its consumer rollout in the first quarter of 2011.