It’s one thing to send you advertising based on the websites you visit or even the places you go. But a freshly funded startup called Traitify has in mind a different idea: Maybe ads can be more successful if they’re tailored to your personality.
Traitify has developed tests to pick up on character traits. People take the tests by going through a series of images and words and saying if the activity is “me” or “not me.” The technology, which comes in the form of a widget or application programming interface (API) that developers can weave into applications, has already proven valuable for vetting job candidates.
Today, Traitify is announcing $4.2 million in new funding, as it plans to brings its psychology technology to more industries.
“It’s our belief that marrying this personality data and other big data sources together can create a new level of advertising capability, a much deeper level that’s more targeted to personal information,” Dan Sines, Traitify’s director of partner development and a co-founder, told VentureBeat.
Funding for a psychology startup isn’t the sort of thing that finds its way into my inbox every day. The real context here is that investors seem keen to provide an ever wider variety of tools for developers to tap, so they don’t have to spend time working on projects that take a huge amount of time and devotion.
And from a higher level, the funding seems to suggest that perhaps personality will one day be the great, new frontier for ad-tech companies.
This might sound a little strange, but the Myers-Briggs psychology-analysis questionnaire could be considered a Traitify competitor. The thing has been around for decades, and people still identify themselves by their four-letter acronyms from the test. But more seriously, a startup called Good.co equates to competition, too, Sines said.
Traitify now boasts around 20 customers, Sines said, including Cappex and Monster.com.
The startup began its life as Woofound, which made recommendations about places to go and things to do based on its analysis of people’s personalities. Woofound changed its name to Traitify earlier this year. It is based in Baltimore, with 20 employees.
To date the startup has taken on $8.4 million in funding. Heritage Capital, Thomas Hitchner, Charles “Chip” Morris, and other investors participated in the new round.