Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Adaptly Tries to Ride Facebook’s Ad Rise, With a $10.5 Million Round

An underlying premise behind Facebook’s IPO pitch: We’ve got a $3 billion advertising business, and we’ve just gotten started.

That pitch is also fueling a whole lot of start-ups, who want to piggyback on Facebook’s ascent by helping advertisers shovel money into the site.

Today’s example: Adaptly, which manages Facebook ad campaigns and also helps marketers buy ads on other social platforms, like Twitter and StumbleUpon.

The NYC-based company has raised a $10.5 million B round, led by Valhalla Partners; the company also brought in Time Warner Investments and Vivi Nevo as new investors. Adaptly had previously raised $2.7 million.

The company is run by freakishly young cofounders — Nikhil Sethi, 23, and Garrett Ullom, 22, both fresh out of Northwestern (Ullom didn’t stick around to graduate). Sethi (pictured above) says his company booked $10 million in gross revenue in 2011, and will “greatly exceed that” this year. (Update: That’s actually $10 million in gross bookings, not revenue, Sethi says. Thanks to Steven Kane for the nudge.)

Adaptly has around 50 employees, a bunch of whom have migrated there via Invite Media, the ad tech start-up Google bought in 2010. The two companies share a few other ties: Both have been backed by Philly’s First Round Capital, and Invite CEO Nat Turner has invested in Adaptly as well. Small world.

(An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Invite Media was a product of the Dreamit Ventures program.)


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik