Helsinky-based Smartly.io is one of Finland’s most successful startups, this year their platform will see over $2.7B USD move through it. Started in 2013, some might say Smartly.io isn’t really a startup any more, they’ve become a market leader in social advertising automation.
Okay wait, stop this train. I know what you’re thinking – what the heck is social advertising automation? I’ll try to do this in a sentence, it allows you to seamlessly create both the ads and the campaigns, and then optimizes them across different social networks, automatically.
Back to the story here…today Smartly.io announced they sold a majority stake, worth upwards of $223M USD to a private equity firm Providence Equity Partners. What’s very interesting about this deal is that to-date Smartly.io has only raised $22.8M which means the founders, employees and investors are probably very happy campers right now.
Of course, for Smartly.io – this is only a step along the way, they have big plans for next year which their CEO discussed more with the Wall Street Journal today.
Next year, the company will expand its offerings to include services for YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter and Snapchat, according to Kristo Ovaska, co-founder and chief executive of Smartly.io.
“There is a very clear need for our customers to utilize creative and media optimization capabilities across these platforms,” Mr. Ovaska said. “We’re just getting started there.”
Smartly.io also plans to accelerate its expansion into the U.S., where it has about 100 employees, Mr. Ovaska said. In addition, it plans to work with larger marketers, which currently include Walmart Inc. and Under Armour Inc.
“The changes in consumer behavior, moving from desktop to mobile, and then from mobile to mobile-first formats such as Stories, has been rapid,” Mr. Ovaska said.(Source – Wall Street Journal)
Huge congrats to Kristo and team. Someone suggested yesterday that I bring my interview series back to life…if I do Kristo will be high on my list. I look forward to following along with the adventure as Smartly.io charges ahead!