Undertone acquired Sparkflow, an all-in-one platform for cross-screen rich media advertising, in June 2015. This post comes from Sparkflow CEO and Co-Founder Gabriel Sanchez Cantena.
It is never easy to undertake a project, to make a business work, to keep it competitive, growing and innovative. When we started Sparkflow two years ago, we had a powerful vision. We saw a need in the market for a disruptive solution that merged creativity and cross-screen technology.
We felt confident as a team, not only because of our individual experiences and skills, but also because we had been working together for more than a decade on our passion; creating technology for digital advertising. This type of shared mission builds trust and strength.
Sparkflow co-founders Rodrigo Vazquez, Gabriel Sanchez Cantena, and Sebastián Miret
We started by validating our product and getting our first few clients. In the tech business, timing is paramount. We were pitting ourselves against players from all over the globe, in a hugely dynamic industry where new solutions are launched every day. It took a lot of effort and bootstrapping, but that effort paid off in a great reception from key leaders, both local and regional. Lanzallamas, a multiscreen creative agency, was an important partner from the beginning, supplying a home, knowledge and creativity that added to the “Sparkflow Experience,” as we like to call it.
With our roots fully planted in this region, our next big challenge was to reach new markets, with the help of our investors, who believed in the team and in the global potential of the project.
One of them was Digital Ventures – experts in digital marketing that help companies like ours grow on the global stage. We all knew that offering a technology developed in South America to mature markets like the U.S. and Europe would prove to be a difficult test, regardless of how confident and experienced we might be.
You can imagine our personal and professional satisfaction when companies we followed and admired for years began complimenting us on our platform, and were pleasantly surprised when they got our demos. Undertone was one of these companies.
Undertone defines itself as a “leader in delivering high quality cross-screen digital brand advertising at scale.” They are well known for their proprietary high impact advertising formats (such as PageGrabber and ScreenShift) that help the world’s biggest brands stand out online, and bring top publishers new revenue.
When we first approached Undertone we had the intention of signing them as a client, but quickly found they were interested in more. In fact, in many ways, they were already looking for us.
Undertone has built its business through a focus on the creative message, guiding clients from the creative brief, to designs, development and even sourcing the right inventory, always striving to innovate. They had built a reputation for creating unique advertising experiences for the best brands in the world, and were looking for technology that could help them deliver on this visión.
We all understood right away that this was a perfect fit; They value the same things we do: a high-quality message, delivered at the right time and place in the best possible way. As CEO Corey Ferengul put it in an announcement on Undertone’s blog: “At the end of the day it’s all about engagement. The acquisition of Sparkflow takes us to a new level, and enhances our capabilities in high impact, mobile, video, and social.”
So what does this new era mean for Sparkflow?
As entrepreneurs, this new chapter is an amazing achievement and it delights us. Our team intends to continue together as a part of the new wave of ad tech, keeping our entrepreneurial spark alive.
From a professional standpoint, this is an opportunity we have been waiting for our whole lives. We are getting the chance to bring our world-class rich media platform to an even wider set of brands and publishers, who will use it to create beautiful and innovative advertising experiences throughout North America and Europe.
When they acquired Sparkflow, Undertone not only got technology, but also the talent, vision and passion behind it. Our team will continue to develop the technology, while continuing to focus on bringing it to Latin America and Spain. We’ll keep providing all of our clients with the same tools, services and capabilities you have come to expect from us.
Now, with more resources, and a company full of talented. likeminded new colleagues, the Sparkflow team will be able to create a product that is even more innovative and competitive than the one we dreamed of two years ago.
We want to thank you for trusting our technology and our team. The Sparkflow Experience is just beginning. We’re excited to continue our journey with you.
Read more from the Sparkflow blog here.