Adriel is a South Korean start-up bringing automated ad tools to small businesses– and in current months, it’s been broadening into the United States and the UK.

This might seem like precisely the wrong time to be growing an ad-buying platform, considering that we’re at the beginning of what’s most likely to be an incredible pullback in advertisement spend due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, co-founder and CEO Sophie Eom told me through e-mail that advertisement spend on Adriel increased by 7% in February, then by 6 %in March, and she approximated that spend will be up by 8% in April.

“We all understand that businesses are having a hard time from the unpredictability of the economic circumstances with COVID-19,” Eom said. “And the majority of are hesitant about employing firms for their advertising and marketing efforts due to the high expenses– in addition to the truth that lots of corporates don’t have enough understanding about the best marketing procedures.”

So why is Adriel still seeing growth? She argued, “We see that even in the midst of tough times, numerous start-ups and entrepreneurs are not giving up their companies. They are shifting their focus and investments into more digital to reach their clients.”

As part of its response to COVID-19, the business is also contributing advertisements to support small company customers in the San Francisco area.

Adriel’s technology automatically creates imaginative materials and recommends keywords for advertisements, in addition to handling the targeting. However there’s also a human group that reviews campaigns and recommends ways to improve. The business does not require retainers or contracts, however charges a 19% charge on ad spend.

I initially spoke to Eom at the end of 2019, when she was first expanding Adriel into the U.S. In some ways, it seemed like a familiar pitch– I’ve written about business like AdEspresso ( acquired by HootSuite) and Smartly.io (which offered a bulk stake to Providence Equity Partners in 2015), which also said they were enhancing or automating small business advertising. Plus, Facebook itself has introduced an automated ad home builder.

Eom suggested that while there are tools that sound superficially comparable, there’s nothing quite like Adriel (which belonged to Facebook’s Namsam Laboratory Korea incubator), with its multi-platform support for managing Facebook, Google and Instagram advertising campaign in one location, and with its focus on the true “long tail” of advertisers– she said the average Adriel client invests a reasonably modest $1,000 monthly on digital marketing.

“We’re not simply a self-service tool either,” she said. “We support and help our clients in getting their advertisement placed, making their campaign more effective. We utilize innovation to make all these processes more cost effective for more business owners.”

She added that Adriel has actually introduced 7,200 campaigns for nearly 20,000 service accounts.

Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.