Seedtag, the ex-Googler-founded, cookie-free, AI-based adtech startup, faucets $250M+ in funding – Thealike

As regulation, platform dynamics and client selection proceed to eat into the adtech stalwart often known as cookies, it’s leaving a niche available in the market for promoting options that may work effectively with out counting on cookie performance. Today, an adtech out of Spain that’s doing simply this has raised an enormous spherical of funding to double down on the chance.

Seedtag, a contextual promoting startup that makes use of AI instruments each to “read” content material on a web page to match that up with advertisers’ goals, in addition to to subsequently observe how these advertisements carry out, has raised “over” €250 million (greater than $252 million, precise quantity unspecified). The cash is coming within the type of an fairness funding from a single investor, Advent International, and it is going to be used to assist the corporate broaden past Europe, particularly deeper into the U.S.

Seedtag was co-founded and is co-led by Jorge Poyatos and Albert Nieto, two ex-Googlers, and as a part of the funding Nieto will probably be relocating to the U.S. to assist develop the enterprise there.

“We’re very excited about this partnership with Advent,” Nieto and Poyatos mentioned in a joint assertion. “This investment will massively accelerate our US expansion, boost our growth and reinforce our team and the development of our technology. This move further supports our mission of building the global leading platform for contextual advertising, offering an effective solution for cookieless advertising on the open web.”

The firm just isn’t disclosing its valuation with the spherical, however this funding is a major step up for it. Founded in Madrid in 2014, Seedtag had solely raised round $46 million within the final eight years, with previous buyers together with Intelectium Business, Oakley Capital, All Iron Ventures and Adara Ventures. Its previous buyers are remaining shareholders with this spherical, together with the 2 co-founders. In one other sign of its progress, it’s picked up various big-name purchasers, together with the likes of Unilever manufacturers, LG, Levis and extra.

The state of affairs for these manufacturers is that the character of how they join with shoppers, elevate consciousness amongst them and even ship their merchandise have all been drastically altering within the final a number of years, pushed alongside by an enormous swing in direction of digital display utilization, altering knowledge safety and privateness priorities, and advances in expertise, amongst different tendencies. And simply as a lot of them had been getting their heads across the transfer away from static, analogue campaigns for advertising and marketing, their understanding of how they’ll and may use digital platforms has modified, too.

One of the casualties of that has been the cookie — the unit that had been constructed to trace what customers are doing on-line that might in flip be used to current extra related data to them, primarily based on that exercise — which has fallen afoul of privateness and safety specialists, and subsequently regulators and platform operators. Subsequently, they’re now getting phased out of utilization.

Seedtag is a part of a wave of tech firms constructing what they like to explain as “privacy first” options in promoting, usually options that proceed to permit firms to serve advertisements in related locations on programmatic platforms, however with out gathering the form of knowledge that beforehand would have been wanted to take action.

Seedtag has constructed a what it describes as “contextual AI technology,” which it has branded “LIZ”, which makes use of AI to do a few of the work that cookies may need carried out up to now: it “reads” what’s on a web page or inside a web site, slightly than what a consumer is shopping throughout the entire internet, and combines that with its personal algorithms to find out what sorts of pursuits that specific consumer may need, and serves advertisements which can be in flip related to that specific expertise, which seem inside a specific piece of content material.

What is much less clear is how Seedtag tracks the effectiveness of that advert after it has been seen, if it’s not utilizing cookies. (I’ve requested and can replace as and once I hear again on this level.)

In any case, as cookies turn out to be a extra problematic, and undoubtedly much less efficient, route for monitoring consumer curiosity and intent, it would push extra consideration to a wider set of instruments, and corporations constructing them. The two co-founders each labored in trade analytics and technique at Google so perceive not simply what adtech firms like Google constructed however what advertisers need to do, giving them a singular place in having the ability reply the large questions on what’s missing available in the market in the present day, and methods to deal with that.

“Seedtag has established itself as a leading player in Europe and Latin America in the very dynamic contextual advertising sector. We are delighted to partner with Jorge and Albert as they continue to build on this momentum,” mentioned Gonzalo Santos, MD at Advent International and Head of Spain, in an announcement. “With our international presence and deep sector expertise, Advent will work with the Seedtag management team to further expand the business internationally. We look forward to supporting this hugely exciting business to grow and scale-up and to taking it to the next level.”

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