Ad Lightning raises another $2M to help advertisers and publishers spot disruptive ads
Apr 5, 2018
Ad Lightning is raising more money as it continues to help advertisers and publishers spot “bad ads.”
The Seattle startup announced a $2 million investment round led by previous backers Pioneer Square Labs and Flying Fish Partners. Sinclair Digital Ventures, an investment division of Sinclair Broadcast Group, also invested again. New firms Seattle Angel Fund, Curious Capital and The Alliance of Angels participated as well. Ad Lightning spun out of Seattle-based startup studio Pioneer Square Labs last year. The 10-person company helps publishers and advertising exchange platforms monitor bad programmatic ads that slow down sites and disrupt engagement, in real-time and on mobile or desktop websites. The startup spent this past winter in New York City as part of the inaugural class of Verizon Ventures’ new “Media Tech Venture Studio.” It received a $100,000 investment from R/GA Ventures as part of the program. Asked about the investment from Sinclair’s ventures arm, given the recent controversy around its promotional videos about fake news, Ad Lightning CEO Scott Moore said there was nothing to note. “Bad ads hurt all publishers and consumers,” he said via email. The company’s software integrates with existing online ad operation workflows, and gives users a way to shut down bad ads once they are notified of issues. Ad Lightning is not only serving publishers, but also advertising exchange platforms — middlemen in the digital ad industry — that are using the software to clean up their own ads before they allow them to go live on an exchange. Moore co-founded Ad Lightning with Kate Reinmiller and Drake Callahan . He previously worked as an executive at Microsoft, Yahoo and Cheezburger, where he was COO and CEO of the digital humor network. “The Ad Lightning team immediately got traction with the industries they serve because they’ve lived it,” Mike Galgon, Pioneer Square Labs managing director, said in a statement. “Because they’ve been publishers, in ad ops, on the agency side and brand stewards, they knew how to build what clients need, solve their biggest pain points and help them future-proof their business for global challenges to come, whether that’s being GDPR compliant later this year or helping publishers protect their audiences’ data.”
Total funding in the company is $4.8 million. Taylor Soper is a GeekWire staff reporter who covers a wide variety of tech assignments, including emerging startups in Seattle and Portland, the sharing economy and the intersection of technology and sports. Follow him @taylor_soper and email email@example.com .