Media

AdSafe raises $10M to ensure that ads go on “safe” web pages

AdSafe Media has raised $10 million in funding to make sure your company’s ads don’t intentionally wind up in potentially embarrassing places such as porn or pirating sites.

The New York-based company has created automated “ad safety” solutions for advertisers, agencies, and publishers to make sure their ads are seen in the right context. The funding will fuel the company’s expansion and validates the value of the company in the advertising food chain, AdSafe chief executive Scott Knoll told VentureBeat.

“Five percent of all online dollars are exposed where they shouldn’t be,” Knoll said. “From a brand perspective, it’s much more significant. Big brands do not want to be on sub-grade sites. Cruise lines don’t want to be on shipping accident sites.”

AdSafe can guarantee ad safety because it automatically verifies ad placements on web sites. Clients like the approach because it is proactive, rather than reactive, and keeps advertisers out of trouble before they unwittingly get into it. AdSafe does this complex task billions of times a day.

The company also helps advertisers figure out if their ads are seen on the web or on mobile devices, and it will soon announce a product that tells advertisers how long someone viewed the ad.

Investors include Pelion Venture Partners, Atlas Venture, and Coriolis Ventures. AdSafe will now expand its product lines and its overseas presence.

Knoll said that 37 percent of ads in exchanges or networks have no chance of being seen. That represents massive waste. AdSafe’s goal is to give both buyers and sellers control of the situation. AdSafe also works with publishers to improve viewability and ad safety, redesigning sites to fix problems. The company has grown six-fold in the last year, said Knoll.

“Over the last year, AdSafe has emerged as the largest provider of brand protection solutions and is fast becoming the standard in ad safety for both buyers and sellers of media,” said Ben Dahl, a partner at Pelion Venture Partners.

Back in 2011, AdSafe exposed a “click fraud” ring where perpetrators were laundering porn site traffic through benign domain names. Click bots perpetuate the click fraud by stuffing impressions into invisible iFrames on web pages. The fraudulent traffic was valued at more than $250,000 per month.

AdSafe was founded in 2009 and has 40 employees. Rivals include DoubleVerify and AdXpose. AdSafe also competes with data companies, brand safety, and viewability metrics companies. The co-founders are Helene Monat, former CEO, and Will Luttrell, chief technology officer.

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