ZergNet Announces $3.2 Million Series A, Co-Led by Greycroft and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments

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ZergNet, the leading audience development platform, raises funds to accelerate growth.

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ZergNet is a combination of traditional traffic trading made easy for publishers, very effective content recommendation algorithms, and the human curation and headline writing of a BuzzFeed. Their secret sauce is combining all of the above into one.

ZergNet, a technology company focused on helping publishers better monetize, analyze, and grow their audience, announced today the closing of a $3.2 million Series A funding. This financing will allow ZergNet to continue to build out its team and further grow distribution. Investors include Greycroft Partners, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI), Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Mark Cuban.

Founded by Reggie Renner and Mike Langin in 2012, ZergNet’s content recommendation technology uses a combination of data science and human editors to determine what makes content engaging. The company enables publishers to capitalize on this information with a range of tools that help grow their audiences. ZergNet is now used by nearly every major media company, frequently displacing Facebook and Google as the top referral source for these publishers.

"The traffic increase has been very valuable for us,” said Peter Cheng, Director of Business Development and Innovation at Condé Nast. “ZergNet is a combination of traditional traffic trading made easy for publishers, very effective content recommendation algorithms, and the human curation and headline writing of a BuzzFeed. Their secret sauce is combining all of the above into one."

ZergNet’s technology powers over 10,000 article recommendations a second for publishers, and the company also provides insight into headlines, image sizing, content placement, and A/B testing to create the best user experience possible. On a monthly basis, ZergNet.com delivers over a hundred million visits to premium publishers, for free, and that number is growing by over 10% per month on a compounded basis.

"While we are a data-driven company, over half of our staff consists of human editors who manually review content,” said Reggie Renner, Co-Founder and CEO of ZergNet. “We have access to enormous amounts of impression data and use that information to learn what people are engaging with and why. Machine learning is a big part of what we do, but we believe the human side of content recommendation is incredibly important. Editors working side-by-side with machines creates a multiplier effect on traffic."

“Google, Facebook, and Twitter are the largest traffic referrers on the Internet, but they continue to taper free content as they pursue their own business goals,” said Ian Sigalow, Partner at Greycroft Partners. “Premium publishers need a reliable way to introduce their content to new users and ZergNet has figured out an innovative way to scale traffic for their partners.”

The ZergNet team is based out of Indianapolis with an office in New York City. The Series A investment will help the company continue to grow their publisher network and explore opportunities in the native advertising space.

About ZergNet
ZergNet is a technology company focused on content discovery. With a unique focus on human curation and relentless A/B testing, ZergNet offers publishers tools to better analyze and promote their content. Founded in 2012 by Reggie Renner and Mike Langin, ZergNet has quickly become one of the largest and most trusted audience development platforms.

About Greycroft Partners
Greycroft Partners is a leading early stage venture capital firm focused on investments in the technology space. With offices in the two media capitals of the world - New York and Los Angeles – Greycroft is uniquely positioned to serve entrepreneurs who have chosen us as their partners. Greycroft leverages an extensive network of media and technology industry connections to help entrepreneurs gain visibility, build strategic relationships, successfully bring their products to market, and build successful businesses. Greycroft manages $600MM and has made over 100 investments in leading companies including Babble, Braintree, Buddy Media, Collective, Huffington Post, Klout, M5 Networks, Maker Studios, Paid Content, Pulse, and Trunk Club. For more information please visit the Greycroft Partners website at http://www.greycroft.com.

About Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI)
Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) is Bertelsmann’s strategic venture capital fund focused on up-and-coming digital media companies. BDMI is currently invested in companies in the online video, ad tech, SaaS, content and e-commerce sectors, as well as several leading early stage funds. As a strategic investor backed by Bertelsmann’s capital, BDMI can draw on a wide-ranging, worldwide network of companies. BDMI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA. http://www.bdmifund.com

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Brian White
ZergNet
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