The startup was founded by Neil Turner who was the former Chief Strategy Officer at iSeatz. Advercar pays drivers to put advertisements on the front, sides and backs of their cars. It’s very similar to taxicab advertising except on private vehicles. The company charges advertisers $280 per month which is roughly the same amount charged by taxi cabs.
Advercar passes up to $100 per month to the driver. They also say that some advertisers give drivers the opportunity to make more than the $100 per month.
Advercar’s $2 million dollar seed round was led by Canaan Partners. 1-800-Flowers, Branford Castle Private Equity, New Orleans Startup Fund, Jit Sexana and TiE Angels Boston also participated in the round. With this round 1-800-Flowers CEO Jim McCann and Canaan partner Deepak Karma have joined Advercar’s Board of Directors.
The startup’s idea was originally pitched last year during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week as part of their Power Pitch competition where they won first place.
Advercar already has 5,000 drivers. The company tracks their drivers with a GPS tool that allows them to report back to advertisers and show them where their ad was seen. They also use a calculation method set forth by the Traffic Audit Bureau that allows them to calculate, roughly, how many people saw the ad. Advercar has a special group of AdverMoms that allows advertisers to reach other moms.
TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha asked Turner if it felt strange for an Advercar driver to drive around with advertising on their car. Turner replied;
“You notice for your first 20 minutes, but after that you forget they’re on. You do notice if you go to a grocery store, because people will be staring at your car.”