Vancouver-based Pressboard has raised a $2 million to expand its branded content marketplace.
The funding round was led by the Vancouver Founder Fund, with participation from Pressboard’s existing investors. Pressboard plans to use the funding to expand its partnership and marketing teams in its Vancouver, Toronto, and New York offices.
“It’s a rare occasion where we need to actively convince a company to take our capital,” said Fraser Hall, a partner at VFF. “Pressboard is our kind of mystical animal; high growth, profitable with an obsession for delivering remarkable value to both brands and publishers.”
Pressboard’s plaform connects brands and advertising agencies to over 300 publishers, including Mashable, Vox Media, and Business Insider. Advertisers on the platform — such as GE, Ford, General Mills, and Chase Bank — can create stories through the Pressboard’s Marketplace. Brands can work with publishers as partners, and request stories based on verticals like travel, lifestyle, or fashion.
“Our mission is simple, help companies tell stories that people love to read, watch and share,” said Jerrid Grimm, Pressboard’s co-founder and CEO. “Our marketplace gives brands access to hundreds of media publishers with incredible expertise to assist in co-creating those stories. We then layer on our technology to predict, and even guarantee, the performance of each of those stories.”
With the funding, the company also plans to develop Pressbot, an AI assistant that predicts how well a story will perform before publishing. The bot studies over 150 characteristics — such as headline, topic, sentiment, and readability, and provides recommendations on how to improve engagement. The bot then analyzes social signals such as likes, shares and comments to suggest which paid and social channels are best to promote the story.
“We’re taking the guesswork out of content marketing for advertisers,” said Tiam Korki, Pressboard co-
founder and CTO. “Pressbot uses vast amounts of data to make machine intelligence accessible to brands and publishers who wish to create more impactful stories.”
Last year, Pressboard was among the companies in the C100’s 48Hrs in the Valley cohort.