Adbrain, the company behind an intelligent mobile advertising platform, have successfully obtained $7.5 million (£4.5 million) in Series A funding from a group of leading VC investors led by Octopus.
What is Adbrain?
Adbrain is a London and New York-based company that have developed proprietary technology to tailor advertising to mobile consumers. It combines technologies such as programmatic audience buying and real-time bidding to achieve a transparent solution that responds to consumers’ multi-screen habits and use of interconnected devices.
What makes Adbrain unique is that it provides a single interface that connects clients’ proprietary and 3rd party data and interprets that data into actionable insights. Advertisers can then connect to consumers regardless of which device they are using, and effectively categorise and localise these consumers.
The global advertising technology market is set to grow to over $30 billion by 2017, as more and more companies seek to take advantage of targeted audience data. New technology will help these companies avoid blind media buying, and therefore allow more efficient allocation of marketing resources. Adbrain sees itself at the forefront of this fundamental change in the mobile and digital advertising industry.
To date, Adbrain has already onboarded some key digital agencies including Annalect (part of Omnicom Media Group Europe), The Exchange Lab, M&C Saatchi Mobile, Fetch and Somo.
Who were the investors?
The investment consortium was led by the Ventures team at Octopus Investments and also included Notion Capital. Octopus Investments is an innovative venture capital company managing over £3 billion ($4.9 billion) for over 50,000 customers. Their unique investment strategy connects investors with dynamic, entrepreneurial companies via a selection of financial products including venture capital trusts, exchange-traded funds and enterprise investment schemes. Octopus Ventures holds an investment portfolio of over 40 startup companies and has successfully backed ventures such as YPlan, Zoopla, SwiftKey and graze.com.
For Octopus, the Adbrain deal represents an exciting new opportunity. According to Frederic Lardieg from Octopus Ventures, “the ad-technology space is a multi-billion dollar market and continues to experience significant growth. Combine this with the highly motivated and impressive team behind Adbrain, and it is clear that this is a company that is set to make waves.”
This is the second major round of funding for Adbrain, whose first tranche of $1.5m seed capital was raised from Notional Capital and a selection of mobile and digital ad-technology angels.
What does this funding mean for the company?
The funding will facilitate Adbrain’s expansion plan across the EU and US market. The team plans to start by recruiting talent to their engineering, big data and artificial intelligence areas.
What does this mean for online advertising?
More and more companies, particularly large brands with a strong dependence on online marketing, are using programmatic buying to get the right ad space at the right time for their target customers. However, identifying these target customers correctly is one of the biggest challenges they face. Many brands have not received their desired return on investment due to poor management of audience data. If Adbrain can successfully deliver a more tailored programmatic buying solution, the positive outcomes could include:
- Increased adoption of programmatic buying among the larger firms that may currently be sceptical about the technology.
- Increased use of advertising technology among smaller firms. If able to put limited advertising budgets to more effective use via Adbrain, this will help to remove the financial barriers to using ad technology that smaller firms currently face.
Where can I find out more information?
The following resources provide further information on the companies involved in the deal, analysis of the deal, and the advertising technology industry.
- Adbrain: www.adbrain.com
- Octopus Investments: www.octopusinvestments.com
- PeHub article: http://www.pehub.com/2014/03/adbrain-picks-up-7-5-mln-in-series-a-funds/
- Mobile advertising:
- More info on Programmatic Buying / Programmatic Trading:
Editorial note: Adbrain are still going strong, this remains still there last round of investment. (March 30, 2017)