Azullo, a UK-based startup who’s flagship product, “Respond“, offers publishers extra ad revenue and advertisers a customer acquisition model, has secured a second round of financing in the “six figure” ballpark, although terms were undisclosed. The round was led by North West Fund 4 Digital & Creative, managed by AXM Venture Capital Limited, with participation from Angels John Lyon, Joel Rosenblatt and Chris Frost. This round follows a seed round in mid-2011.
Respond is designed to solve ‘banner blindness’ by matching call-to-action buttons to relevant content on sites (see a demo).
In that sense it’s quite Google Ad-sense like. Indeed, Guy Cookson, who co-founded Azullo in 2009 with Andrew Dobson, says Respond goes head to head with Google Adsense but is ten times smaller than a banner ad. Despite that he claims it is has a ten times better CTR than the latest Doubleclick banner CTRs (0.7% vs. 0.07%). Make of that what you will.
Admittedly this world is littered with the graves of similar companies, but so far Azullo has picked up significant publishers for the product including big UK newspapers Trinity Mirror plc and magazine publisher Future plc, among thousands of niche websites and blogs. Advertisers running Respond campaigns include Netflix, Microsoft and BSkyB.