• Contextual ad specialist Seedtag has raised a $40 million funding round, led by Oakley Capital. 
  • The Spain-based adtech firm is planning an expansion into the US.
  • See the key slides from the pitch deck Seedtag used to convince investors to back its Series B round.

Madrid, Spain-based adtech firm Seedtag said Tuesday it has raised a $40 million Series B funding round as it prepares to accelerate its expansion into the US market.

The latest round, led by private-equity firm Oakley Capital, brings Seedtag’s total funding up to $46.1 million. The company declined to comment on its valuation.

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.

Contextual advertising has become a buzzy area in adtech as the sector shifts away from the precision-targeting and tracking of individual users. Among the biggest changes: Google plans to phase out the use of third-party tracking cookies in its Chrome browser by 2023; Apple has tightened the screws around app-tracking; and the space continues to adjust to a wave of new global privacy regulations.

Such changes are beneficial to a company like Seedtag, the company’s co-CEO Albert Nieto told Insider. Seedtag said it’s on track to generate $80 million in revenue in 2021, up 60% from last year. Nieto said the company has also turned an annual profit for the last four years, though he declined to go into specifics. 

The shift toward privacy is having “massive consequences” on the digital ad market, Nieto said.

“We will see, for example, creative becoming more important than in the past where the only thing that was important was addressing a specific audience,” Nieto said. “The importance of context is becoming much more relevant.”

Seedtag currently operates in nine markets across Europe and Latin America. It now plans to expand in the US, and is in the process of hiring a country manager who will be based in New York. Co-CEO Jorge Poyatos said Seedtag would probably add around 30 new employees next year, bringing its global headcount to around 250.

Acquisitions could also play a role in the company’s expansion plans. Seedtag recently appointed former investment banker Raúl Lara as its new CFO, charged with leading its M&A strategy. Its main areas of interest include companies that can further its geographical expansion, plus those with expertise in areas such as audio, connected-TV, and in-game advertising.

Insider in August listed Seedtag as one of nine hot European digital-marketing startups that experts said were prime acquisition targets in 2021. At the time, Insider reported that Seedtag had appointed investment bank LionTree to explore its strategic options. LionTree acted as Seedtag’s exclusive financial advisor on the Series B funding round, which also included participation from Adara Ventures and All Iron Ventures.

While Seedtag was approached by a few would-be acquirers last year, the company isn’t planning for an exit — either through acquisition or IPO — for at least the next four to five years, Poyatos said.

Seedtag’s raise marks the latest in a rush of deals in the adtech space as investor money flows back into the sector once again, amid a rise in the valuations of public ad-tech companies and with ad dollars increasingly shifting online.

Check out the key slides from Seedtag’s Series B investor deck below. Click to expand each image.

Seedtag currently positions itself as “the leader in contextual advertising in EMEA and LATAM,” but the company is now planning an expansion into the US


Seedtag says it uses artificial intelligence to understand what types of content consumers are interested in and help marketers design ads that are most likely to resonate with their target audience


Poyatos said while some contextual targeting players focus on getting as much information as possible from a single URL, Seedtag has technology that looks across an entire network of URLs to analyze trends and consumer behaviors about the type of content that’s the most attractive to target audiences.


Seedtag named its artificial-intelligence technology “LIZ.”


Seedtag says the performance of its ads, across measures including click-through rate, viewability — whether an ad had a chance of being seen by a user — and video-completion rates exceed the industry average.


Seedtag says its ads have helped clients raise awareness of their brands and improved purchase intent for a new car model.


Seedtag’s advertiser clients have included Dell and Lipton.


Seedtag describes Google’s decision to kill off third-party cookies as a “positive tailwind” for contextual ad companies.

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