- Investors are pouring money into marketing and
- These startups are using technology to disrupt
- Read these 31 decks to see how these startups sold their visions to VCs and other investors.
Investors are pouring money into startups that are trying to disrupt advertising, media, and marketing.
Insider has been tracking these startups that are using tech to capitalize on changing consumer media habits and marketers' desire to reach new audiences and ensure their ads are working.
They're enabling live shopping, measuring digital ad performance, collecting consumer data, and more.
Check out these
Tools for PR pros
Founded in 2009, Muck Rack has gone from an online database of journalists to a suite of tools that enables PR teams to find journalists, track news coverage, and report on campaign performance.
After going it alone 13 years, Muck Rack raised its first outside funding — closing on a $180 million Series A round led by private equity and venture capital firm Susquehanna Growth Equity. It plans to use the funds to bolster its services, roll out an API, and expand globally.
Making video ads that perform
Founded in 2014, video adtech firm VidMob offers technology and a marketplace that helps advertisers convert their TV and web ads into hundreds of different video formats.
It also helps advertisers understand how specific creative decisions — such as how far away an actor is from the camera — influence how an ad performs on different platforms.
VidMob just raised a $110 million Series D round, led by Shamrock Partners.
Check out the pitch deck video-focused adtech company VidMob used to raise its $110 million Series D round
Better B2B events
Goldcast is a B2B events startup that's trying to reimagine the stuffy conference arena by incorporating Netflix-like features in its video presentations. It also gathers info from attendees that clients can use to pitch them down the road.
Goldcast just raised $28 million in Series A funding from private-equity firm Westbridge Capital, with participation from VC firm Unusual Ventures, for a total of $40 million in funding.
A company that wants to be the Netflix of B2B events just raised $28 million — here's its pitch deck
Israeli startup Odeeo puts audio ads in mobile games so advertisers can message players without disrupting their gaming experience.
It just raised a $9 million seed round to expand to the US, led by Play Ventures and with participants including gaming studio founders Anton Gauffin and Lior Shiff and mobile guru Eric Seufert.
Read the pitch deck a startup used to raise $9 million from investors like mobile guru Eric Seufert to expand its video game ads business to the US
Retailers are rushing to add video shopping tools to their sites to keep up with tech giants like Amazon and YouTube. Austin, Texas-based startup Kerv is helping companies make video ads shoppable, using machine learning and AI to recognize items in ads, match the items to a brand's products, and insert click-to-buy links.
Kerv recently raised $12 million in a growth round led by Trinity Capital Inc.
Read the pitch deck that helped a tech startup get $12 million to help big brands like Macy's and Apple make their video ads shoppable
Live shopping tools
Another startup, Firework, is jumping on the live video shopping trend, with software it sells to retail chains like Albertsons and Fresh Market.
Firework just raised $150 million in Series B funding led by SoftBank.
Read the pitch deck that a startup used to raise $150 million led by SoftBank to help retailers add live videos to their sites
Simplifying market research
Ad agency vets Grant McDougall, Liza Nebel, and Matt Gross started BlueOcean in 2019, when they saw an opening to use machine learning to show marketers how they and their competitors were performing. Now, they count Microsoft, Riot Games, and Bloomingdale's as clients.
The software-as-a-service startup just raised a $30 million Series B round, led by Insight Partners.
Check out the pitch deck this AI brand strategy startup used to raise $30 million to help marketers audit the strength of their brands
Marketing in the metaverse
Anzu, a startup whose technology inserts ads into video games, helps advertisers place logos and digitally-rendered products inside video games.
Anzu raised $20 million in a new funding round led by NBCUniversal and HTC, which manufactures electronics including VR headsets.
Capitalizing on messaging apps
AI platform Connectly helps businesses market to people through messaging apps.
It was founded by the former head of Meta's messenger and blockchain businesses and Strava's ex-CTO.
Connectly raised $4 million in seed funding in February 2021 from Unusual Ventures, Marathon Venture Capital, and others and is now seeking $15 million.
Check out the pitch deck this startup is using to raise $15 million to help marketers capitalize on the rise of messaging apps
Reinventing the PowerPoint
Crispin Porter Bogusky alums founded Giide to update the business presentation with tools that let customers create interactive, audio-based content.
They just raised $1.6 million in seed funding led by Supernode Global, which was joined by other early-stage venture funds including FirstMile Ventures and TechNexus.
Here's the pitch deck a startup that wants to reinvent the business presentation used to raise $2.2 million
Growing streaming TV businesses
Amagi helps media giants like NBCUniversal and Gannett build and distribute ad-supported streaming channels. It also provides tools to help content owners sell ad inventory.
It just raised $95 million in a round led by Accel Ventures, which it plans to use to invest in the news and sports categories.
Read the pitch deck a media tech firm used to raise $95 million to help content owners like NBCUniversal and Gannett run their streaming channels
Targeting home buyersAdtech vet Ed Carey got the idea for Audience Town, an
This pitch deck helped an adtech startup raise $6.1 million to capitalize on the red-hot real estate market
Connecting PR pros to journalists
As consumers avoid online ads and tech giants curtail advertisers' use of targeting, marketers need to find other ways to get their messages in front of people.
Tech startup Propel argues that PR has a chance to benefit by using earned media. It sells tech that helps public relations pros find the right journalists to pitch.
It just raised $4.5 million in seed funding, led by Lyft and DoorDash investor NFX.
Read the pitch deck that helped a PR tech startup raise $4.5 million, led by an early investor of DoorDash and Lyft
Socially responsible advertising
UK startup Good-Loop is trying to harness companies' growing desire to show they're socially responsible. It's encouraging viewers to watch ads by having brands donate to one of their charity partners once the video is complete. Clients include Unilever, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Levi's, Adidas, NBC Universal, and Nike.
It just raised a $6.1 million Series A round, led by Questus Capital Management.
See the pitch deck watch-to-donate adtech startup Good-Loop used to raise a $6.1 million Series A round
Creative consulting platform
Founded in the UK in 2015, BeenThereDoneThat connects companies with c-suite creative and strategy officers to help them solve marketing and advertising challenges by linking them to a network of chief strategy, chief innovation, and chief creative officers.
The startup just raised a $7 million Series A round, led by VC firm Beringea.
See the pitch deck creative marketing consultancy BeenThereDoneThat used to raise a $7 million Series A round
AI tools to grow sales
Ocean.io is a Copenhagen-based martech data platform that helps clients like Sony, UserTesting, and Brandwatch target key B2B accounts.
Personalizing B2B marketing can be a tedious process, but Ocean.io's pitch is that it analyzes more than 300 million web pages, company registries, public databases, and existing account and transaction data to help companies find likely prospects.
The company just raised $7 million from Peak Capital and existing investors.
See the deck that helped a martech startup used by Sony and Brandwatch raise $7 million. The European company is now set to expand to the US.
Measuring the value of PR services
Founded in 2018, Memo pitches software that shows clients like Google and Samsung how many people read an article about their company or products, using data from publishers like Condé Nast, Forbes, and The Washington Post.
It most recently raised $10 million in Series A, for a total of $17 million in funding.
Read the pitch deck that a PR startup used to raise $10 million to help clients like Samsung and Google grab publisher insights
Protecting companies' reputations
Founded in 2013, Signal AI collects and analyzes data from regulatory filings, social media, broadcast, and net promoter scores to help clients like Bank of America Securities, Google, and Exxon Mobil, measure their reputation and manage supply chain risks.
It just raised $50 million in Series D funding from venture capital firm Highland Europe along with asset manager Abrdn.
Check out the pitch deck that a PR tech company used to raise $50 million to extend its business beyond public relations
Collecting data in the privacy era
Advertisers are scrambling to find new ways to market to people as the privacy clampdown makes it harder to target people online.
Qonsent is a startup that helps advertisers get customers to share personal data like birthdays or email addresses using QR codes on ad creative.
It just raised $5 million in seed funding from Zekavat Investment Group, who led the round; VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk; and Michael Kassan, chairman and CEO of MediaLink.
Check out the pitch deck a privacy tech startup used to raise $5 million from investors like Gary Vaynerchuk to transform how advertisers collect customer data
Selling mobile advertising
UK-based Picnic says digital ads are rife with fraud and perform terribly. Its solution: mobile ads inspired by social media features like stories and carousels that actually engage readers. It claims its ad formats boost ad performance for brands and bring in more revenue for online publishers.
Now it's expanding to the US with help from $3 million in Series A funding it just raised from Guinness Asset Management, along with existing angel investors.
Customizing the user experience
Businesses have scrambled to update their digital operations in the pandemic, creating an opportunity for UX startups like Uniform that help companies customize their user online experience.
Uniform just raised $28 million from Insight Partners, Array Ventures, and Elad Gil.
Check out the pitch deck that this startup that helps advertisers customize their digital user experience used to raise $28 million
Creating non-intrusive audio ads
UK-based adtech firm AudioMob offers audio ads that appear in mobile games. It pitches the ads as "non-intrusive" because they don't interrupt the gameplay, the ads only play if a user's device is set to a certain volume, and they don't rely on hypertargeted tracking techniques.
It just raised a $14 million Series A round from investors including Makers Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Google, to grow its team and expand to new products.
See the pitch deck that helped audio ads firm AudioMob raise $14 million from investors including Makers Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Google
Bringing efficiency to video editing
Toch.ai is an India-based startup that aims to democratize video editing, arguing that the technologies to produce and distribute videos require time-consuming, manual processes, and existing video editing software can be pricey.
Toch.ai has raised $11.75 million in Series A funding led by Moneta Ventures to support an expansion into bigger markets like the US.
See the pitch deck that helped a video-editing startup raise $12 million to take on Adobe and expand into the US
Placing contextual advertising
Contextual advertising has become a buzzy area in adtech as the sector shifts away from the precision-targeting and tracking of individual users.
Founded seven years ago by two former Googlers, Seedtag specializes in contextual advertising — using data and artificial intelligence to place ads within relevant publisher content that users should be more likely to interact with.
Seedtag recently raised a $40 million funding round, led by Oakley Capital.
See the pitch deck that helped contextual advertising firm Seedtag raise $40 million. The European adtech company now plans a US expansion.
Automating ad creation
Dan Pantelo started a performance marketing agency in college and pivoted to software after discovering that creative testing was the most important and time-consuming part of making ads.
Today, his marketing technology startup Marpipe claims to help advertisers figure out which ads perform best by automatically testing hundreds of variations.
Marpipe recently raised $8 million in Series A for a total of $10 million raised to date.
Connecting companies to freelancers
Investors are pouring millions into platforms like Catalant Technologies that connect companies to independent advertising and consulting professionals, a need that's growing as people quit in the pandemic.
Catalant has raised more than $100 million by pitching itself as an alternative to consulting giants like McKinsey.
See the key slides a staffing platform used to raise more than $100 million from investors like Morningside CEO Gerald Chan
Data management tools
Google and Apple's moves to clamp down on third-party cookies and the rise of online shopping have advertisers clamoring for help managing all their customer data so they can effectively market to them.
One such company is 4-year-old Amperity, which sells software that clients like Starbucks, Patagonia, and Crocs use to manage stats from sales, email, e-commerce, and loyalty card programs.
Amperity raised $100 million in its Series D from existing investors including Tiger Global Management, Declaration Partners, and Madrona Venture Group, for a total of $187 million.
Here's the pitch deck that helped a marketing tech startup raise $100 million at a $1 billion valuation to help brands manage their data
Out-of-home advertising platform
Outdoor advertising is coming back after being crushed during the pandemic, and adtech startup OneScreen.ai is hoping to cash in with a platform for brands to search, buy, run and measure their out-of-home ad campaigns.
OneScreen recently raised $1.2 million in pre-seed funding in a round led by Florida-based fund TechFarms Capital with other investors including HubSpot cofounders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, Wayfair's alumni fund Wayfund, Lola.com CEO Mike Volpe, and BuySellAds.com CEO Todd Garland.
See the pitch deck that Google, Hubspot and Wayfair alums used to raise $1.2 million to build the 'Amazon of out-of-home advertising'
Collecting consumer data
Tracer started in 2015 as a unit of Gary Vaynerchuk's ad agency VaynerMedia that automatically collects and organize data that isn't personally identifiable. Led by Tracer co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Nicholson, it also offers free consulting services. It started by helping VaynerMedia oversee hundreds of millions in ad buys for clients like Oreo maker Mondelez; today, clients include other ad agencies like Labelium; Condé Nast; and pharma giant Sanofi.
Tracer recently raised $9.9 million in seed funding led by big names like former Walmart and Amazon exec Marc Lore and NBA star Kevin Durant's firm Thirty Five Ventures.
Read the pitch deck a Gary Vaynerchuk-backed data startup used to raise $10 million from investors like Walmart's ex-ecommerce CEO
Growing repeat customers
As people do more of their shopping online, marketers are trying to get them to become repeat customers.
Former Paypal and Facebook product and data analytics manager Emad Hasan says his startup Retina helps brands like Dollar Shave Club and Madison Reed acquire and keep customers by building lookalike audiences based on companies' order history and shopper attributes.
It recently raised $8 million in Series A funding from Alpha Intelligence Capital, Vertical Venture Partners, and others.
This investor deck helped a former Facebook product manager raise $8 million to help brands boost customers' long-term value
Real-time market research
Agency veteran Matt Britton pitches his consumer intelligence startup Suzy as an always-on digital assistant like Siri or Alexa for marketers. It has a consumer panel that lets marketers conduct surveys and research on subjects like product development and ad effectiveness testing.
H.I.G. Growth Partners, an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, led the round, with Rho Capital Partners, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Foundry Group, and Triangle Peak Partners also participating.