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Adtech startup Tomi raises seed funding to make real estate ads perform as well as e-commerce

·2-min read

Industries like real estate, automotive and financial services have long and offline sales cycles and digital advertising tends not to perform well in these areas. The conversion rates are low and because the real-world assets are offline the temptation of advertisers is to buy leads and clicks, which can inflate customer acquisition costs. People are browsing but they end up buying offline, basically.

A new startup, Tomi plans to address this issue by processing a user’s behavior on a company's website (using a tracking pixel, combined with ad APIs and CRMs) to help companies reach customers more in the way an e-commerce business would.

It’s now raised a $1 million seed round from investors including Begin Capital and Phystech Leadership Fund.

Founded by Konstantin Bayandin — a former senior director of digital marketing and technology at Compass and chief marketing officer at Ozon, "Russia’s Amazon" — Tomi competes against similar adtech companies such as Anytrack, Sociaro, Meetotis, Alytics and Postclick.

However, the difference, Bayandin says, is that Tomi "focuses on offline conversions and works with multiple ad channels, such as Facebook, Instagram and Google."

Bayandin says: "Real-estate companies would love to leverage online ads in order to sell their inventory but it turns out to be too expensive and difficult. People like to browse but rarely convert and most of these transactions happen offline. So real-estate clients don’t know how to optimize for their real buyers. Tomi uses machine learning to analyze the way real buyers browse the website and optimize ad campaigns toward conversions.”

The background to all this is that with Apple closing down IDFA, Google planning to remove third-party cookies from its Chrome browser, and the latest iOS 14.5 update allowing users to opt out of “personalized ads,” the entire ad business is in flux, so new tools are going to be required. Bayandin says Tomi is part of this new wave of adtech.

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