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The site Sostav reported this week that Russian advertising startup Integrator has raised $5 million (3,7 million euro) in funding from Boulevard Ring, the firm which exclusively handles transportation for the Moscow transportation system. According to Sostav, this funding will enable the team behind Integrator to expand the geographic reach of their business and to add useful features. Rather than take a fee when transactions are completed, Integrator will operate as a subscription-based service.
Founded in autumn 2012, Integrator enables advertisers to create a media plan from a central online location. Through the company’s site, a user can manage ad-campaigns by city and can comparison-shop TV and radio stations and print sources. Perhaps the most interesting feature of this service, however, is the ability to create media using various voices. In addition to being able to manage campaigns by location and media outlet, users have a host of voices to choose from. Varying in age, sex, and fee, each actor delivers a different tone and quality to the campaign. In addition to offering customers a simplified means for creating ad campaigns, Integrator offers At the current time, Integrator remains in beta. When I looked at the cities currently covered, I found it curious that Moscow and St. Petersburg, easily the two largest markets in the country, are absent. However, Startup Afisha notes that the company database already includes more than 3,000 print and regional television stations across the country. While the plan for now is to allow advertisers to create campaigns for TV, radio, print, and on transport, Sostav reports that users will eventually have the ability to place ads outdoors and online. Although the company is Russian in origin, their site lists Ukraine and Kazakhstan as country options for creating campaigns. You can’t click on them just yet, but it will be interesting to see the choices available to users once the service emerges from beta.
In recent months, we’ve seen Russian advertising-management startups like ContextBroker and i-Vengo raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding. What sets Integrator apart is its intention to focus on TV, radio, and print advertising before moving into the online world. Further, whereas i-Vengo managed to secure $500,000 in funding from IIgor Ryabenkiy and other private investors and ContextBroker managed to raise a similar amount, Integrator’s $5 million raised represents a dramatically larger investment.
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