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INTERNET | Internet Software & Services / Advertising, Sales & Marketing
adgrok.com

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Founded Year

2010

Stage

Acquired | Acquired

Total Raised

$490K

About AdGrok

AdGrok is a startup that aims to help small and medium sized businesses improve their Google AdWords using their product named GrokBar.

AdGrok Headquarter Location

San Francisco, California, 94101,

United States

Latest AdGrok News

Guy who said women are 'soft, weak, cosseted, naive' lasted about a month at Apple until internal revolt

May 13, 2021

Tech investor Paul Graham, co-founder of startup founder Y Combinator (García Martínez sold his Y Combinator-backed company AdGrok to Twitter), defended the ousted product engineer, who worked previously as a product manager at Facebook, among other companies. "Antonio García Martínez is actually a good guy," tweeted Graham. "He might write the occasional shocking thing for effect, but he'd never, for example, organize a petition to deprive someone of their livelihood." In a heated Reddit AMA chat four years ago, after being asked , "Why are you such a colossal dic****? ", García Martínez described himself thus: "Outsiders who know nothing about Silicon Valley think I'm terrible. Insiders who know the game well think I'm actually honest, self-deprecating, and funny, and actually tame by Valley standards." The incident has echoes of former Google engineer James Damore's internal memo critiquing diversity goals at the search giant in 2017, which ultimately led to his dismissal and a failed lawsuit . Apple's gearing up for new ad wars Beyond demonstrating that speech is free but not necessarily without consequences, and that tech companies have to be reminded of their diversity and inclusion commitments, the ousting of García Martínez invites questions about whether Apple overlooked red flags in its eagerness to hire ad tech talent. It's doubtful Apple will ever issue a public account of its hiring process in this case. Even so, the company's push into ad tech is noteworthy given how much it has marketed its commitment to privacy and frustrated ad giants Facebook and Google. Apple currently has over 120 US advertising jobs posted, many recent and related to the development of new ad technology. While the company's introduction of its App Tracking Transparency framework has placed limits on third-party data collection, Apple is expanding its first-party advertising infrastructure. For example, the company has just introduced Search tab campaigns , to allow app developers to pay to promote their apps. "The Software & Services team at Apple is part of Apple's growing effort to create a large contextual advertising department that can still capitalize on Apple's Privacy branding and rhetoric, while creating new opportunities for developers, publishers and marketers to reach new audiences," said Zach Edwards, co-founder of web analytics biz Victory Medium, in a message to The Register. "Apple's brief hire of [Antonio García Martínez] should tell the world that Apple has aggressive recruiters trying to solve complex advertising problems, and they specifically had an interest in someone who previously worked on Facebook's advertising systems, as well as a Deep Link attribution company, Branch." Presumably, Apple's next ad tech hire will get a more thorough vetting. Graham, however, contends that "it's a bit draconian" to argue "that in a world of properly run companies, [someone like García Martínez] should never work again." Had García Martínez chosen to respond to our inquiry, we'd have asked whether working again is necessary, given that he sold a company to Twitter and worked at Facebook before and after its IPO. We're left to wonder what the proper punishment is for being a ****** ******* and whether there's a viable path to redemption or just a safety net of companies disinterested in the opinions of women and people of color. ® MORE

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Expert Collections containing AdGrok

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

AdGrok is included in 1 Expert Collection, including ad tech.

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