Sophia raises $1.7m to help brands tackle banner ad blindness

Advertising platform Sophia has raised $1.7m (£1.1m) to help brands tackle banner ad blindness.

The investment comes from the Angel CoFund, which supports high-growth businesses across the UK.

It is the Government-backed fund’s first investment into Northern Ireland.

A tale of two universities

Sophia’s flagship product Ambiance is an ecommerce widget that sits alongside content to automatically showcase relevant products.

The company spun out from two universities – the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland and St. Petersburg State University in Russia.

Sophia received seed funding from Halo, the Northern Ireland Business Angel Network in 2010 and further funding from Atlantic Bridge in 2012.

Today’s funding announcement brings the company’s total funding to date to £5.75m.

The Angel CoFund

The Angel CoFund was launched in 2011 with the joint aims of backing promising businesses in the UK and supporting the growing angel investment community across the country.

The fund has so far supported 48 companies including VentiveYplanPlayJam and Micrimaproviding over £22.4m in direct investment alongside £81m from business angels and other investors.