People’s Champion Finalist: PowerLinks Media
Meet the fast-growing content advertising tech firm in the running to become Startups Awards People’s Champion – will it win your vote?
Start-up name: PowerLinks Media
Founder: Kevin Flood, 26, Mike Harty, 27
Started in: 2012
Based in: London
Business description: Content advertising technology
Hailing from Lancashire, Kevin Flood and Mike Harty launched their first technology business in 2009. Their story-to-date has culminated in Powerlinks, an advertising technology that delivers ads to support “the look and feel of online publications”.
Known as native advertising, the Powerlinks platform works with publishers to generate revenue that supplements their traditional display ads.
Typically, these ads appear within text and news feeds as image-led links and operate on the basis of clicks and impressions. Additionally, Powerlinks works with advertisers such as IBM, Dell, American Express, HP and Lenovo to serve contextually relevant ads to their target audiences, the idea being that this will boost engagement way beyond traditional banner advertisements.
For PowerLinks there are two key revenue streams: “1. Publishers pay for clicks (CPC) and impressions (CPM) on a tariff, determined by volume commitments. 2. PowerLinks takes a gross revenue share from bids on the Ad Exchange, in addition to our licence fee.”
It’s a model that has attracted digital publishers in the UK and US, with the company setting up its New York office last year, where Kevin Flood now resides. In addition, the business has offices in both London and Manchester.
Flood and Harty have also raised two rounds of angel-backed funding totalling £2m, which they are using to build their team, establish new offices and maintain the development of the company’s technology.
In a congested advertising technology space PowerLinks has secured key contracts with Major League Baseball, City AM, Talksport and IDG UK and grown turnover to in excess of £850,000.
Potential new contract wins should, according to the entrepreneurial pair, see its figures rapidly accelerate in the next year. As a company that has risen in the Startups 100 rankings for the past three years, we expect to hear more of the company in the years to come.
Why PowerLinks Media made our 50:
Mike Harty and Kevin Flood have carved a good niche in the nascent native advertising market and Powerlinks’ US presence is evidence of a highly ambitious company. Backed up by strong revenue growth, if it keeps ahead of the curve, Powerlinks should provide handsome returns to investors.