Nov 8th 2017, Belgrade – SC Ventures is excited to announce its investment in Hunch, an Ad-tech SaaS technology company that helps businesses deliver automated, optimized, and personalized ads to users on leading digital advertising platforms like Facebook, AdWords, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The funding is intended to fuel the growth of the company and expand its ad automation platform.
Digital media generated 51%, or over $240 billion dollars, of all ad money spent globally in 2019. Observing social media ad spend, businesses are spending more on social media advertising with ad spend amounting to more than $89 billion in 2019 with a +13,9% YoY growth. Looking at Facebook alone, 8M active advertisers are using the social networking platform to promote their products and services in the first quarter of 2020.
As a result of increasing competition and growing ad spend budgets online, getting attention from customers and acquiring them online is becoming an increasingly complex and expensive experience. Advertisers are competing for a 1.7 seconds opportunity to engage with their customers on mobile devices. Driven by the need to deliver ads as targeted and personalized as possible, companies today can no longer solely rely on manual advertising workflows.
The future of Automated ads
Nebojsa Radovic, Director of Performance Marketing at N3TWORK, and former Nordeus and Machine Zone Media Buying Analyst, knows online customer acquisition intimately because he lives it every day. “We are headed for a future where all advertising will be automated, including creatives. Why? Because fast changing market conditions are creating an expert labor shortage or gap. There’s just not enough experienced paid acquisitions experts to handle the growth. So, today, automation and optimization platforms like Hunch are helping companies bridge that gap while giving companies a competitive edge.” said Radovic, an advisor to Hunch.
Recently in New York, Martin Barthel, Global Head of Retail and eCommerce at Facebook said today’s most advanced advertisers are using automation to scale and personalize their messages. As an example of automation, Mr. Barthel mentioned an industry leading company producing 20,000 personalized videos, weekly.Since launching an early access program in 2017, Hunch experienced continual growth in new customers including top brands Weebly, Greenpeace, Dice.FM, and over 200 others.
Build to cut costs and save time
With this early stage funding, the Hunch team is focused on working closely with a number of advanced performance marketing customers to further develop its core advertising automation and optimization product that helps teams scale their creative process, drastically improve their CPA, and overall maximize their advertising budgets.
Native to Orange County, California and based out of Belgrade, Serbia, Hunch was founded by Aleksandar Djenic, Dane Rukavina, Igor Simovic, Nikola Milenkovic, Aleksandar Maletic and Sinisa Rakovic. The core Hunch team comes from a diverse background in technology development including successful exits of previous startups, and is genuinely passionate about machine learning, data science, and advertising workflow automation.
“Partnering with SC Ventures is an important step for us, and South Central Ventures has been very supportive,” said Sinisa Rakovic, CEO, Hunch. “At this stage, working side by side with our customers allows us to incorporate the feedback right into our product. With our team, technology, and approach we are on a mission to help businesses take advantage of automated, optimized, and personalized customer acquisition processes.”
“Hunch provides real and measurable value to clients, and adds unique intelligence to their digital ad spend process. Its founders bring to the table an invaluable mix of domain knowledge, technology and business experience and we are thrilled to support them on their entrepreneurial path.” said Jan Kobler Managing Partner South Central Ventures.
SCV aims to support the startup system in the region, and help founders daring to bring their businesses to global markets. With this funding Hunch will position itself as a Global player in aD-tech hence further fuel the growth and expand its ad automation platform. Hunch is SCV’s 6th investment in Serbia and the newest addition in SCV portfolio with many more to come in the following period.
This article was first published in 2017 and updated in 2020.