Durham digital advertsing technology firm set to double in size

Netsertive to add 60 positions with second infusion of capital

david.ranii@newsobserver.comAugust 13, 2012 

— Advertising technology company Netsertive anticipates adding 60 employees over the next 12 months – more than doubling in size – after raising $7.3 million in venture capital.

The Durham company also is announcing Tuesday that it obtained $2.5 million in credit from Square 1 Bank in Durham, giving it access to nearly $10 million in expansion capital.

“It is time to step on the accelerator,” said Netsertive’s co-founder and CEO, Brendan Morrissey.

Actually, Netsertive has been in the fast lane for awhile.

The company, which was formed in April 2009 following a six-month gestation period focused on product development, has zoomed to 53 employees today. Morrissey won’t disclose revenue specifics but said that monthly revenue is seven times what it was in September 2010, when Netsertive raised its initial round of venture capital totaling $4.5 million.

Netsertive uses its patent-pending technology to manage localized digital advertising campaigns for hundreds of businesses – small and midsized brick-and-mortar retailers as well as about twodozen well-known brands, such as GE Appliances and Serta.

Its work for brands typically is in conjunction with local retailers who offer that brand, with the two parties sharing the cost.

Netsertive focuses on five broad consumer industries – including automotive and furniture and appliances – with a relatively long sales cycle that often starts with the consumer doing Internet research. Its technology identifies consumers shopping for such products and makes sure that they are exposed to a series of ads that initially focus on brand awareness and eventually point to a specific retailer.

“They are attacking a huge market,” said Wayne Hunter, managing partner of Virginia-based Harbert Venture Partners, which led Netsertive’s venture capital funding. “It’s $20 billion-plus today and we expect it to double over the next four or five years.”

Hunter said that he has been tracking Netsertive from its infancy and has been impressed by its rapid growth to date.

“It’s one thing to have a vision and an idea,” he said. “It’s another thing to execute it. These guys have done it.”

The company’s focus on discrete markets, Hunter added, has enabled them to “develop expertise that none of their competitors have. That differentiates them.”

That expertise, said Morrissey, includes identifying the key words and websites that are most effective at driving sales.

Ken Mazda, who owns six America’s Mattress stores in the Philadelphia area, signed up with Netsertive in February.

Mazda said he started out with a modest ad budget but tripled it after hits on his website quadrupled in the first 30 days.

“I was really impressed,” he said.

In the months since, those hits have led to increased traffic at his stores – and, most importantly increased sales, he indicated. Although a good website helped transform Internet traffic into store visits, Mazda said, Netsertive also helped by suggesting ways he could tweak his website and promotions that he should offer.

Netsertive, which occupies 9,000 square feet of space near Page Road in Durham, expects to move next month into 20,000 square feet of space nearby, with an option for additional space, Morrissey said. But he isn’t yet disclosing details.

The company has about a dozen job openings concentrated in sales and business development; software engineering and product development; account management and digital marketing specialists.

“If I could fill them tomorrow, we’d fill them,” Morrissey said.

Ranii: 919-829-4877

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