At this point it’s clear to everyone that ad tech is changing in a huge way.
When we launched the company earlier this year, in the middle of a global pandemic, our thesis was fairly simple:
- As privacy becomes a feature across the board, both tech platform changes and increased regulation will make a huge impact on ad tech
- This will create a movement where publishers and advertisers (as well as a slew of intermediaries) will have to actively ask users to share some data on themselves and get a permission to use it
- The infrastructure that enabled data-driven advertising to function was built on cookies and IFAs, and it’s about to disappear
- As a result, this data-sharing infrastructure is moving underground where collaboration will continue, but data will be shared using secure, privacy-preserving protocols
This all will result in a gradual onset of confusion and chaos, but ultimately, eventually, the ecosystem will be better off. The mess created by the programmatic revolution will be replaced by less wasteful, more ethical, more secure, new ways of dealing with ads.
It starts with three core functions that have to be satisfied by a new generation of customer data management technologies:
First, we need to deal with the identity crisis, with third-party cookies and IFAs slowly crumbling. We need a way to collect data that is respectful of the user and backed by consent, yet still uses identity data at the core. Without third-party cookies and IFAs, this will lead to a translation layer: from personal profiles stored by the publisher on the user to an addressable cohort across various touch-points (open web as much as mobile, CTV and audio). In addition to using local storage for data collection, there is also an opportunity to make use of first-party cookies, just like it was in the good ol’ days.
Second, although we do ingest data from CDPs and DMPs, assembling audiences and preparing them for anonymized activation using existing ad tech infrastructure is part of the the new way of working with audience data. This activation can happen through ad servers, ad exchanges or other content personalization technologies.
And third, we need better ways to transact based on audience data. When it comes to advertising, the value of data is amplified when it transits between partners. Cookie and IFA-based transaction models created a lot of trust issues which actually prevented great use of this data. The new generation of data management technologies will be decentralized, where partners will run their individual instances of the platform, and use secure multiparty computation protocols to collaborate. This is a bit complicated at first, but ultimately this layer will enable the fundamental fabric of how ads are targeted and measured.
That, in essence, is what we do.
A mere 6 months after launching the company, we are starting to roll out our product to customers. It’s quite difficult to describe what the product IS, but we feel that calling it a Data Connectivity Platform is the best way to describe the core value that we’re bringing.
Having pre-seeded the company ourselves, we are also starting a fundraising process for our seed round. Our team counts 9 people now, and we are very much excited to grow it and accelerate our growth.