Clickable Nabs $14.5 Million In Series B

Clickable has closed a $14.5 million Series B funding round led by Founders Fund, a Silicon Valley VC firm that has pumped capital into Web 2.0 darlings like Facebook and Twitter. Existing investors Union Square Ventures and FirstMark Capital also participated in the round.

The paid search management technology firm has raised nearly $23 million during the past year, and has grown to amass over 400 registered users since its beta launch in September 2007. Clickable CEO David S. Kidder said the company has also brought on a significant number of paying clients since the February release of the commercial version, which charges 3-5% of a user's overall monthly spend.

Kidder said that company plans to use the new funding to continue to grow its direct sales team--led by former Googler Bill Masterson--as well as to accelerate development of the API-based bid and campaign management dashboard. Clickable's platform, which optimizes budgets and alerts advertisers to red flags such as poor-performing ad copy across the three major search engines, will also be expanded to include display, video, mobile and social media buys toward the end of the year and into 2009, Kidder said.

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The technology behind the dashboard and the speed at which it can be enhanced based on client feedback is what drew the attention of Founders Fund, according to Kidder. "It's one of the key reasons why Founders Fund invested in us," he said. "They have a number of stakes in media formats that need a more simplified buying process to gain critical mass. With our open ad API, it will be a great way for new networks to plug in and get monetized." Founders Fund Principal Justin Fishner-Wolfson will join Clickable's board.

As for the client feedback, Clickable recently revamped its home page to offer more community features, including "Clickable University," where users can find tutorials and articles on paid search best practices, the company blog, and in the coming months, moderated forums.

While Clickable naturally faces competition from ad management behemoths like Omniture and Marin Software that court agencies and big brands, as well as companies like Yodle and Reach Local that cater to smaller spenders, Kidder said that the company's largest competitor is Microsoft Excel.

"There are so many small to mid-size advertisers that are in a state of inertia right now, buried under the complexity of trying to manage their spending on spreadsheets," Kidder said. "It's tough to get them to switch to something new, even if it's simpler and faster than what they're used to."

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