Newark, New Jersey-based digital advertising company Audience Town announced this week a professional seed round of funding led by MathCapital. Although the funding amount was not disclosed, a typical seed round is usually less than $1 million.
A number of angel investors also participated in the round, according to the press release. The funding coincided with a formal agreement with MediaMath, a data management and software company whose resources will support the development and rollout of Audience Town’s real estate advertising platform.
MathCapital is a venture fund that targets startups in the digital marketing and advertising space.
The press release states that the funding will cover the development costs and delivery execution of its software product, which is aimed at helping agents move beyond Facebook and Zillow, for example, to target new prospects on mobile, desktop browsers, video, television and outdoor channels.
Additionally, Audience Town has brought John Peragine on board as chief revenue officer and Greg Cappello as chief product officer.
Peragine most recently led The Rubicon Project’s video marketing division, where he took it from launch to nine figures in revenue. Cappello was senior vice president of marketing at Kargo, a mobile advertising technology company.
“We have known this founding team for over a decade and admire how they have applied a vertical approach to data, tech and content to a massive industry and category like real estate,” Eric Franchi, operating partner at MathCapital, said in the press release.
On a call with Inman in July, Audience Town founder and CEO Ed Carey said that Zillow and other common advertising channels are monopolies, and they use outdated technology to drive weak leads to their agents.
Carey believes that the funding and team additions gives Audience Town a unique advantage in the real estate advertising space, which is worth $30 billion annually, according to the press release.
Audience Town’s technology centers on programmatic advertising, a highly intricate amalgamation of automation and data science that leverages rich data sets to deliver ad messages to the most closely matched audience possible, regardless of ad channel.
On a follow-up call with Inman, Carey said the funds are being used to build out a user interface for customer interaction and control.
Until now, Audience Town has been run like a traditional, full-service ad agency. With money in the bank, the company will delve into building a user experience for customers to pinpoint the best candidates, oversee a budget and be a part of the creative.
“We’ve been at first only about the servicing of it, you give us money, we build that ads and deliver it to the media,” Carey said. “The fundraising will help us build the software for people to do on their own … login to an interface, easily find the people likely to move, life events and being able to target ads to people based on real-world profiles.”
Carey also told Inman that the funding will help build APIs for eventual integration with “some of the big name lead-gen tools and companies you know and write about.”
The company is currently working with an array of companies throughout the residential and commercial real estate industry, including builders.
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