Universal Ad Raises $8.5 Million

Universal Ad Inc., an Israel-based provider of retail advertising and marketing solutions, has raised $8.5 million in Series B funding. Vertex Venture Capital led the round, and was joined by Western Technology Investment and return backer Walden Israel.

 

PRESS RELEASE

Universal Ad, Inc., a leading provider of highly innovative retail Advertising, Marketing and Promotions software and service solutions, today announced the completion of $8.5 million in Round B financing. The funding will help support new customer deployments, further advance the company's patented ad production automation technology and drive expanded sales and marketing activities.

Elisheva Yakobovich and Yoram Oron from Vertex Venture Capital, the lead investor in this round, will be joining the company's Board of Directors, alongside Eyal Kaplan and Noga Kap, current board members from Walden Israel, the lead investor in Universal Ad's previous funding round and a co-investor in this round. Also participating in this round is Western Technology Investment (WTI).

“Universal Ad's product suite allows the company to position itself as a leading player in the market for cross-channel advertising automation solutions for retailers, wholesalers, ad agencies and printers. The rapid growth in the number of multi-channel promotional ad campaigns ensures that automating the ad planning and production process is quickly becoming a must-have for these companies,” said Elisheva Yakobovich, Partner at Vertex Venture Capital. “Their unique technology solves a critical pain point for these companies when it comes to planning, managing and producing their ads and other promotional materials across multiple channels, including print, online, digital signage, Point of Sale and mobile,.”

“Universal Ad has made tremendous progress since the previous round, adding great companies to its customer list across all related market sectors, and significantly enhancing their solution's cross-channel automation capabilities. This new funding round will enable the company to grow faster and better for the benefit of all its clients and other stakeholders,” added Eyal Kaplan, General Partner at Walden Israel.

Founded in 2003, Universal Ad launched its solution at a customer site in Israel the following year. Walden Israel's initial round of funding in 2005 allowed the company to further develop its breakthrough applications and round out its management team. Universal Ad also expanded into the US market, where it opened two offices and acquired customers across all its target markets, including retailers, wholesalers, ad agencies and print shops. Recent customer wins include Schawk, the world's largest brand imaging solutions provider whose clients include several of the largest US retailers, and Quad/Graphics, the world's largest privately held printer of magazines, catalogs and commercial products.

“We are delighted that Vertex Venture Capital, Walden Israel and WTI have decided to show their trust in our team and our products. With their ongoing support and vast experience we will be able to continue smoothly executing on our proven go-to-market strategy,” said Adit Tevel, CEO of Universal Ad. “At this critical point in our company's history, as we are rapidly scaling up our operations to support top tier US retailers, this round will help us exceed the expectations of our customers and our investors.”

“I am gratified to see the progress Universal Ad has made until now and to receive this further vote of support from both Vertex and Walden,” said Aviel Amit, Founder and CTO of Universal Ad. “Our vision from the start has been to lead the market by helping retailers quickly optimize their promotional campaigns through the use of highly targeted multi-version ads that are distributed beyond the traditional print channels to new online, in-store and mobile venues. The new round of funding will help us ensure that this vision will become a reality.”

About Universal Ad, Inc.

Universal Ad provides retailers, wholesalers, advertising agencies and printers with highly innovative advertising, marketing and promotions software and service solutions. The On Demand Promotions Suite is the first system to automate and integrate the planning, management and production of retail ad campaigns, helping our customers significantly reduce both time-to-market and operational costs. The patented technology enables the creation of a virtually unlimited number of ad versions, as well as their instant reuse across all media channels, including print, online and in-store.

Universal Ad's customers include Schawk/Ambrosi, Quad/Graphics, Price Chopper, Alpha 1 Marketing, Office Depot Israel and Shufersal (the largest retail chain in Israel). The company, which has two offices in the US and an international headquarters located in Israel, is privately held and venture-backed by Walden Israel and Vertex Venture Capital.

For more information about Universal Ad, please visit www.universal-ad.com .

About Vertex Venture Capital

Vertex Venture Capital is a unique top-tier Israeli VC with $600 million under management, a strong international investor base, an experienced multi-disciplinary team of professionals and an impressive track record of exits through M&A and IPO. Vertex provides unparalleled possibilities for companies in facilitating potential growth, business opportunities and leveraging synergies throughout Israel, Europe, USA, Japan and Asia. Vertex invests in Israeli and Israel-related companies in early stages of development in information networking and communications systems, software and components, digital media and enterprise software.

For more information about Vertex, please visit http://www.vertexvc.com .

About Walden Israel

Walden Israel is Israel's top-performing venture capital fund of its vintage. Focusing on fields of communications and IT, the Walden Israel investment team has funded more than 40 early-stage start-ups to date. Its most recent exits include Passave (NASDAQ: PMCS), nLayers (NYSE:EMC), Ex Libris (acquired by Francisco Partners) and Mellanox (NASDAQ: MLNX).

For additional information about Walden, please visit www.walden.co.il .

About Western Technology Investment

Founded in 1980, Western Technology Investment (WTI) specializes in venture lending, providing debt financing to venture-backed technology and life science companies. WTI's recently closed 12(th) fund builds upon the success of the firm's 28-year history, which featured portfolio companies such as Juniper Networks, Brocade Communications Systems, Google, Cerent, Infoseek, IDEC Pharmaceuticals, Facebook, IronPort Systems, Volcano Corporation, and many others.

For additional information about WTI, please visit www.westerntech.com .