June 21, 2024
Topsort helps e-commerce create ads without being ‘creepy’

Regina Ye says she and Topsort co-founder Francisco Larrain have learned a lot in the two years since their auction-powered advertising startup launched.

The company raised $8 million in seed funding in 2022 to value the company at $110 million. Topsort develops retail media technology for small businesses to use auctions as a way to create effective advertising.

Fed up with how complex ad campaigns were to create on Meta, Amazon and Google, they created a simple API for users to install. When they start a campaign, customers can add items like sponsored listings, banner ads and video ads. They then control how the ads are shown, how to measure ad quality and relevance, and who can launch campaigns.

The founders also recognized that its plug-and-play product resonated with e-commerce marketplaces of different sizes. Today, Topsort is used by marketplaces in 35 countries by the likes of Poshmark and Youtravel.me.

“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to be able to actually have really good advertising results,” Ye told TechCrunch. “We have tried many things since then and found what works, and last year was incredible growth for us. We grew almost 10 times in terms of revenue, and we have a similar scale of ambition for this year.”

Topsort also shifted its focus to be more enterprise-friendly, and it built more advanced features. It now counts P&G, General Mills and Danone, among others, as customers.

All that growth excited investors who poured another $20 million of Series A capital into Topsort along with a valuation boost to $150 million post-money. Upload Ventures led the round with support from existing investors, including Quiet Capital and Pear Ventures. The company has now raised $28.6 million in total.

The company is now focusing on what happens now that cookies are going away. Topsort wants to correct advertising’s reputation for being “slimy” around user privacy. It created a Cleanroom feature to combine user data without actually “being creepy,” Ye said.

“Everyone’s wondering what’s going to happen to advertising after cookies, and we think we have the answer to the clean advertising solution,” Ye said. “We’ve spent three years making a very solid offering, and today, we probably have the most comprehensive offering of that in the market.”

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