Adaptly launches reach amplification ad product, raises $10.5m

Brands put plenty of time and money behind the content they share on social networks, but only a small percentage of their intended audience may actually ever see it. In fact, at the first Facebook Marketing Conference in February, Facebook executives said that, on average, content posted to Facebook pages reaches just 16 percent of a brand’s fan base.

But Adaptly, a New York-based startup that gives brand advertisers a consolidated platform for buying ads across social media networks, today launched a product that it believes gives brands a new solution.

Called Evergreen, the product spots the best-performing pieces of content posted by brands to social networks and converts them into native advertising to reach more of a brand’s current fans, as well as other targeted individuals.

“Just because a brand has a million fans on Facebook, it doesn’t mean that they’ll actually see any given piece of content,” said Nikhil Sethi, CEO and co-founder of Adaptly. “The Evergreen system is designed to close that reach gap.”

At launch, Evergreen is only available on Facebook and to Kraft Food brands. But Sethi said the company will ultimately make it available to more brands and expand the product to other platforms within the next two quarters, as the reach issue isn’t specific to Facebook. On Twitter, for example, where content moves even faster, the average reach is less than one percent, Sethi said.

In many ways, Evergreen is very similar to Facebook’s Reach Generator, which guarantees that, for a fee, brands will reach 75 percent of their fans on a consistent basis and boost engagement by a factor of two. Sethi acknowledged the similarity but said Evergreen is available to brand advertisers of all sizes (not just those with at least 500,000 fans, which is the minimum for Reach Generator). He also emphasized that it will eventually work across platforms and allows brands to target specific audiences (for example, people who like chocolate ice cream or live in a certain geographic location).

To make sure that only the best content is pushed out to the larger audience, he said, the system evaluates how far each piece of social content is traveling on its own and only promotes the posts that pass a predetermined threshold of organic reach.

“Organic reach is almost like social’s quality score,” Sethi explained.

$10.5 million in new funding to fuel expansion

On Wednesday, the company also announced that it had raised $10.5 million in Series B funding, bringing its total funding to $13.2 million. The new round was led by Valhalla Partners, with participation from new investors Time Warner Investments and Vivi Nevo. All of its previous investors, including First Round Capital, Lerer Ventures, and kbs+ Ventures, also contributed to the round.

For most of Adaptly’s existence, Sethi said, the 50-person company has hired heavily in engineering, relying on just one sales staffer. But the the new capital will help ramp up its sales team. He added that funding will also go towards product development and international business development. The company declined to disclose its number of clients but said it focuses exclusively on Fortune 100 brands.

At the moment, Adaptly’s platform includes Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and LinkedIn (s LNKD), but to keep up with the rate at which social services are scaling and developing native ad products, Sethi said the company’s plan is to add one to two new platforms every six months.

Recognizing the global popularity of Facebook, as well as the success of platforms like Tencent in China and Mixi in Japan, Sethi said that it will increasingly look to expand its business overseas.

“If we believe that ads follow eyeballs, there’s a big opportunity out there,” he said.