Sinclair Leads $2M Seed Financing for Ad Lightning

Ad Lightning, which aims to help publishers and digital ad platforms eliminate slow-loading, disruptive and non-compliant digital ads, has completed a $2 million round of seed financing led by Sinclair Digital Ventures, an investment division of Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Ad Lighting is a spinout of Pioneer Square Labs and was founded by Scott Moore, former CEO of Cheezburger, who was previously an executive at Microsoft, MSNBC and Yahoo!

“I've spent most of my career as a web publisher, so this is a personal mission for me,” said Moore. “The ad-supported publishing business may not exist in five years if tools like Ad Lightning are not adopted by the industry. Unchecked, consumers will continue to suffer from deteriorating user experiences until they download an ad blocker and kill the revenue model. Ad Lightning is the toolkit I wish I’d had as a publisher because it solves digital publishers’ biggest pain point. We’re thrilled to have Sinclair’s backing as well as their participation as a strategic partner.”

Ad Lightning’s tool gives publishers insight and control needed to manage programming advertising creative and eliminate ads that hamper site performance and consumer experience.

Pioneer Square Labs founders Mike Galgon, Greg Gottesman and Geoff Entress participated in the financing. Moore and Galgon will be on Ad Lightning’s board, along with Kevin Cotlove, VP of digital operations at Sinclair Broadcast Group.

“While it’s true that programmatic advertising technology is in many ways a marketer’s dream, its adoption has had unintended consequences in the form of major site performance problems,” said Galgon. “It has forced many publishers to trade off long-term audience engagement and satisfaction for short-term revenue. It doesn’t have to be that way: Ad Lightning is a powerful tool that any digital ad-dependent business can use to combat the risks associated with programmatic transactions."

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.