BERLIN / BENGALURU / NEW YORK, JANUARY 17, 2017
Zeotap today announced its Series B funding round of 12 million euros. The new investment reflects both zeotap’s achievements in telecom data onboarding for advertising targeting and measurement, and its potential to grow into the single platform that aggregates deterministic data across industries.
Data is increasingly the cornerstone of the mobile advertising market that accounted for more than 50% of the $200 billion in digital ad investment in 2016 (eMarketer). It determines the efficiency of any buying or selling decision in the programmatic advertising ecosystem, which represents the majority of the advertising market in the US and is growing quickly around the world. However, the paucity of large-scale, high-quality data sources to continues to beleaguer the industry.
At its inception in September 2014, zeotap aimed to solve this problem by creating a global platform to effectively integrate deterministic data from different telecom operators. Leveraging these telecom assets as a nucleus, zeotap has proven the efficacy and value of its data by achieving up to four times the average data price in the market. Simultaneously, Mozeo, zeotap’s Indian joint venture established a few months ago with local partner Mogaé Media, has seen strong progress. “With Mozeo, we’re providing a unique solution that promises to comprehensively improve how advertising is bought and sold in India today,” said Sandeep Goyal, chairman of Mogaé Media and industry veteran.
zeotap has recently broadened its ambitions to other deterministic data sources that diversify its data graph while still adhering to the same quality standards. In just the last six months, the company has signed several partners including a globally exclusive contract with a leading security company as well as a top navigation services provider. For data buyers, the platform becomes even more attractive with a variety of impactful data attributes, including socio-demographic, location, interest and even deterministic mobile purchase intent signals, available from a single trusted source. Consequently, zeotap has earned several distinctions for its solution, including the i-Com Global Mobile Award 2016 and a Special Corporate Award by FMCG giant Unilever.
One of the key reasons large enterprises choose zeotap is its focus on data security and privacy. zeotap is unique in affording data owners complete control and preventing buyers from storing data against persistent identifiers. This solves one of the fundamental problems of the mobile data business, where datasets are still traded loosely and leakage is rampant. zeotap has simultaneously maintained its strict adherence to data de-identification (via methods such as surrogacy, clustering and redaction, among others) to ensure consumer safety. It has already been certified for the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that comes into effect in May 2018. “Our unrelenting focus on Privacy by Design principles in systems engineering is one of our most formidable assets,” said Projjol Banerjea, co-founder and Chief Product Officer, who earned the Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) qualification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) last year.
These developments have led to the latest funding round in which US-based New Science Ventures (NSV), a New York based venture fund which has $500m under management, and HERE, a leading global provider of mapping and location-based services backed by German automotive companies Audi, BMW and Daimler, join existing investors Capnamic Ventures and Iris Capital (backed by Publicis and Orange Telecom), who also contributed to the new round. zeotap has also attracted several strategic business angels, including Seth Schuler (former SVP Strategy of T-Mobile US), Alex Pentland (Professor at MIT, co-creator of the MIT Media Lab and one of the most cited authors in computer science globally), Mark Grether (co-founder and former COO of Xaxis, the world’s biggest trading desk which is part of GroupM) and Thomas Duhr (board member of IAB Europe).
“zeotap’s focus on bringing the best data assets together in one single platform is a unique opportunity for data owners and buyers alike. We are effectively escaping a world where companies have to manage the complex integration of a multitude of sources before they can draw any real value from data,” said Somu Subramaniam, Managing Partner of New Science Ventures.
“I am impressed with the data ecosystem zeotap has built in such a short period. Their speed of delivery is exciting and their solution comes at a time when many data owners are looking for the right partner,” added Edzard Overbeek, CEO of HERE.
“We are happy we could show that we set the right priorities with our privacy-centric platform-based approach. We work hard every day to make a world with data-driven decision making as simple and safe as possible, and it is a very rewarding journey,” said Daniel Heer, co-founder and CEO of zeotap.
With the new investment, zeotap is looking to grow its team in the areas of engineering and data science in Bangalore as well asbusiness developmentdata on-boarding, data monetization and marketing in Berlin, New York, Madrid and Milan.