ST. LOUIS — St. Louis advertising technology startup Advocado said Wednesday it plans to add more than 100 new jobs in the region over the next three years as it targets expansion.
The adtech startup’s growth is to be supported through the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Missouri Works program, which provides incentives for business expansion and retention. The state agency did not immediately respond to a request for specific details of the incentives offered to Advocado.
Founded in 2017, Advocado has developed a cross-media data management technology platform used by brands, media companies and advertising agencies and designed to boost advertising performance. The company started with seven employees and currently has a staff of about 20. It is led by its co-founders, CEO Brian Handrigan and President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Linihan.
Advocado’s expansion announcement follows its efforts to win new financing to facilitate its growth. It has secured $5 million in financing since its launch, including funding snagged late last year through a pre-Series A funding round. The company said it plans to raise upward of an “eight-figure” Series A round starting later this year.
The adtech startup's plans to expand within St. Louis comes after it says it explored potentially expanding operations to other markets, such as New York and Los Angeles, given the rise in remote work and the proximity of those cities to major advertising agencies and media companies.
“It could make a lot of sense for us to have decided, ‘OK, with rents dropping in Manhattan, we need to have a New York location,’” said Handrigan.
Advocado operates out of a 13,000-square-foot office at 1000 Clark Ave. in downtown St. Louis. Linihan said the company projects to have a little more than 40 employees by the end of this year as it scales up its workforce. He said the company's decision to grow in St. Louis stems from he and Handrigan's desire to have the local startup sector boost the region's economic viability.
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