SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GumGum, the in-image advertising pioneer for publishers and brands, announced today it has closed $26 million in Series C financing led by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital with participation from the company’s existing investors, including NEA, Upfront Ventures and First Round Capital.
The new growth round of funding will enable GumGum to:
- Accelerate its expansion into international markets;
- Strengthen R&D resources across image recognition and computer vision; and
- Continue its native, programmatic and social product development.
“GumGum’s mission is to add value to every connected image. This commitment from one of the world’s foremost growth investment funds is a testament to having made meaningful headway in pursuit of this mission,” said GumGum founder and CEO Ophir Tanz. “But we’ve still only scratched the surface. The additional resources will accelerate our ability to expand R&D efforts, introduce new products to market and expand globally.”
Founded in 2007, GumGum is a scalable media platform best known for inventing the highly effective in-image advertising format which places ads over contextually relevant photos. The company has since expanded its product offerings to include other high-impact display, mobile and video ad solutions which collectively give brands access to more than 400 million unique visitors per month worldwide.
“We have followed GumGum with great interest and have been impressed by their growth, deep image recognition technology, and programmatic ability to deliver superior performance to their business partners,” said Robert Bassman, Executive Director of Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital. “GumGum’s ability to help brands increase engagement with strong viewability while delivering a relevant consumer experience has solidified their position as a digital advertising leader. We are very excited to be a part of their next phase of growth.”
This is GumGum’s first new round of funding since it raised $7 million in Series B funding in 2011 which was led by NEA.
GumGum is a new kind of advertising platform, dedicated to creating brand engagement in line with premium editorial content where it’s guaranteed to be seen. Known for creating the in-image advertising category, GumGum continues to introduce disruptive products based on its patented image recognition technology, including expansion into programmatic, native and social analytics software solutions. Reaching 400 million visitors as they view images and content across more than 2,000 premium publishers, GumGum ads yield 20 percent higher viewability and 10 times the engagement of traditional display options, resulting in superior brand lift for marketers and increased revenue for publishers. The company works with more than half of AdAge’s top 100 US advertising spenders, including Disney, L’Oreal, Toyota and Samsung, among others. GumGum is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with five additional offices in the US. Its investors include Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, NEA, Upfront Ventures, First Round Capital and Crosscut Ventures. www.gumgum.com.
ABOUT MORGAN STANLEY EXPANSION CAPITAL
Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital is a private equity platform targeting later-stage investments in technology, healthcare, consumer, digital media and other high-growth sectors. For nearly three decades, Morgan Stanley has successfully pursued growth investment opportunities. Expansion Capital’s experienced investment team combines extensive growth equity and franchise experience to pursue a value-creation strategy focused on operational and financial measures. The team works closely with its investor base of successful entrepreneurs and business professionals to assist in building proprietary advantage for its portfolio companies. Expansion Capital also leverages the brand and unparalleled global network of Morgan Stanley to source investment intelligence and opportunities. Expansion Capital is part of Merchant Banking & Real Estate Investing, the Firm’s direct private investing group that invests capital for a diverse client base worldwide, employing a consistent, proven value-creation approach across a full range of strategies and providing deep resources for best-in-class reporting, operations and risk management.