Adbrain, a London-based artificial intelligence startup that allows advertisers to better target consumers across mobile, desktop, and tablet platforms, raised $7.5 million Tuesday.
Adbrain’s platform gives global advertisers the actionable intelligence to track user preferences and then launch direct target marketing campaigns based on habits unearthed on the Internet. This translates to users on multiple devices.
“There are multiple data points in the mobile ad space, and its crawling with third-party middlemen,” Adbrain chief executive Gareth Davies told VentureBeat from London late Monday night. “Adbrain is an enterprise technology platform. In other words, large tools for the online advertising industry.”
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Davies, an enthusiastic Brit with a decent sense of humor, says modern computer users have evolved to using multiple devices simultaneously. “It really is multiple data points. Clusters of devices. At Adbrain we boil it down, which is how we look at multiscreen,” Davies says. Ultimately, Adbrain allows “advertisers to crunch their own data with second and third-party data to create custom audience segments they can then target.”
Davies is 29 and previously spent five years at Google. In launching Adbrain, Davies said, he was “frustrated at the slow scale in the mobile advertising space.”
Adbrain has already logged an impressive arsenal of clients, including M&C Saatchi Mobile, Fetch, and Annalect. The startup will use this latest tranche of cash to expand its presence in the U.S. and also build out its European ambitions.
Octopus Investments led the round, with Notion Capital also kicking in. Adbrain previously raised $1.5 million when it officially launched in June of 2013.
Davies, citing research into mobile, said the space will be worth over $30 billion by 2017. Indeed, the mobile ad arena was worth $11.4 billion last year and will climb to at least $24.5 billion in 2016, according to Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin.
The mobile space, however, is larded with competitors like Google’s Doubleclick, Appnexus, Adfonic and Appsalar. Davie’s argues that taken together, they lack the cohesiveness of incorporating everything Adbrain does into a single platform.
The mobile ad space is a strategic one, Davies said. “Agencies and brands need to know how to launch effective mobile campaigns, and to do that they need to seed real-time audience buying. The question is how I get to the right tools for my client,” Davies said.