5to1, a company founded by former Fox Interactive executives including Ross Levinsohn, is out raising funding again. The San Francisco-based startup helps publishers find better ads for their sites, and has raised the first $68,000 of what looks to be a $3.45 million convertible note, based on an SEC filing from today. 5to1, which launched last year at the TechCrunch50 conference, has mostly kept quiet except for filings popping up about its multiple funding rounds.
Former Fox Interactive chief strategy officer Jim Heckman is CEO of 5to1, while Levinsohn, who is a managing partner at Fuse, is a co-founder and co-chairman. The two-year-old company raised $6.3 million from Fuse Capital and Prism VentureWorks in multiple bits and pieces across the last couple years. (Om likes to call startups with venture capital habits fundinistas.)
In response to TechCrunch commenters who doubted 5to1 for raising so many little chunks of money, Heckman said in December that it was all part of a master plan. His strategy was to avoid founder dilution as the company found traction:
The smart thing to do in this environment is to take small chunks, BEFORE needing it – and prior to B round (B’s today are a cap-table-destroying meat grinder).
To avoid dilution and distracting process by “extending” runway is a proven way to go – especially if you’re venture is showing promise.
5to1 allows publishers to personally pick ads that they like or seem likely to do well on their sites to fill remnant slots. It remains an invite-only service. The company said in December that it had 400 million uniques across 30 distribution partners.
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