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A Lancaster-based technology company which has developed an online advertising platform used by leading publishers has secured a six-figure investment from Lancashire’s Rosebud Fund, managed by Enterprise Ventures.

The new funding will help Azullo to further develop the market for its Respond advertising platform. Azullo was launched in 2009 by Guy Cookson and Andrew Dobson. This latest funding follows earlier investment from The North West Fund for Digital & Creative and private investors.

Azullo’s Respond platform supports ‘native advertising’ and helps to improve the effectiveness of ad campaigns by solving the problem of ‘banner blindness’, which results in people often ignoring online adverts. Respond campaigns are unique because they are integrated into the design of each website, so visitors can engage with advertisers without interrupting their enjoyment of the content.

Respond uses ‘responsive design’, so ads can be displayed across all devices, including mobiles and tablets, and Respond’s powerful semantic tools ensure that they are relevant to the audience. A number of large media companies are in the process of adding Respond to their sites.

Paul Taberner of Enterprise Ventures, which manages the Rosebud Fund, said: “Major online publishers are looking for ways to increase their advertising revenue whilst recognising that their readers are becoming more discerning in the way theyview online content. Respond helps them do this and offers a better advertising solution for all concerned – for publishers, advertisers and for consumers who are tired of having their browsing interrupted by intrusive adverts. It has the potential to become the platform of choice for the online publishing market.”

Rosebud is a finance package supporting Lancashire firms to grow and expand their business. The scheme is managed by Enterprise Ventures, on behalf of Lancashire County Developments Ltd (LCDL) – the county council’s economic development company.

County Councillor Niki Penney, Chair of LCDL, said: “There’s a great deal of potential in Lancashire’s creative and digital sector. We want to support growth and open up new opportunities to realise this potential – it’s one of our key economic development priorities.

“Companies like Azullo are using technology in new and innovative ways. They’ve already been very successful and we’re pleased to be supporting them in the next stages of their future development.”

Rosebud supports growing businesses in the following sectors – aerospace, advanced manufacturing, creative & digital, energy & environment and finance & professional.