Doesn’t look like Twitter’s decision to introduce an ad platform of its own is getting in the way of fundraising efforts by startups building alternate ad models around the site. Ad.ly, an ad network that matches popular Tweeters with advertisers, has raised $5 million in a first round of funding, according to several reports. Along with the funding, the company has also hired Arnie Gullov-Singh, an EVP at the FOX Audience Network, as its CEO. Gullov-Singh is taking over from 23-year-old founder Sean Rad, who will be president.
As we wrote back when the startup launched, Twitter users who sign up on Ad.ly agree to send one Tweet from an advertiser every other day for seven days. They can set the price for the sponsored message and also vet it before it runs. The approach has reportedly resulted in click through rates as much as ten times that of a typical display ad.
The new cash comes from GRP Partners, Greycroft Partners and Matt Coffin. Ad.ly had previously raised $500,000 in seed funding from GRP Partners.