Insticator is announcing that it has raised $5.2 million in Series A funding.
The startup allows online publishers to add quizzes, polls and other interactive elements (either created by Insticator or by the publisher themselves) to their stories. They then make money from those widgets by running ads in them, too.
Other startups trying to do something similar include Playbuzz and Qzzr (formerly known as Boombox).
Founder and CEO Zack Dugow said the Insticator widget is designed to strike an important balance — it increases engagement for publishers and serves as a “highly visible ad unit” without annoying readers by being too visible or aggressive. He also said the widget is highly customizable, so that it “looks and feels very native to the site itself.”
Publishers who use Insticator include Warner Bros., Ancestry.com and Tribune Media.
Those publishers need to connect with readers beyond their websites too, which is why Insticator widgets work within Facebook’s Instant Articles. Dugow said the company is also working to integrate with the Accelerated Mobile Pages format spearheaded by Google.
The new funding, which was first disclosed in a regulatory filing, was led by Associated Venture Management, with participation from Mintz & Co. and The Beatson Companies. Insticator has now raised more than $8 million total.