Data analyst company Zeotap yesterday announced a revolutionary platform that connects connects mobile network operators (MNOs) with the app and advertising ecosystem.
The company’s innovative solution anonymizes data extracted from MNOs’ systems and employs a variety of signals to generate user and request specific scores that enrich advertising transactions and enable better customer experiences.
It has secured $1.3 million in seed investment from the HitFox group and prominent business angels for its ambitious expansion plans that include an imminent Bay Area based engineering team as well as upcoming Asian business development presence.
Zeotap’s platform makes some of the most comprehensive deterministic data sets, largely inaccessible until now, available to the mobile market. It works with both publishers and supply side platforms to optimize content and yield as well as advertisers and demand side players to make ad buying more efficient.
Initial results have revealed promising double to triple digit performance improvements.
Programmatic mobile advertising spend has been growing exponentially and a recent report from eMarketer predicts the size of the US market alone to increase more than six fold from $1.33 billion in 2013 to $8.36 billion in 2015, at which point it will dwarf desktop budgets.
This meteoric rise in automated ad buying and selling can largely be attributed to a rapid maturing of the mobile ecosystem, with improved tracking and attribution as well as greater amounts of data available for real-time decisioning.
Daniel Heer, cofounder and CEO, who was previously at telecommunications giant Vodafone and mobile
marketing outfit AppLift, said: ‘2015 will be the year of smarter data-driven mobile advertising. We are here to make this happen.
‘From my experience, the carriers’ data resources are incredibly valuable and in many ways comparable to those of Google and Facebook. Yet, they are currently underutilized. Our platform leverages these resources to deliver value to all stakeholders – smarter decisioning for businesses and better smartphone experiences for consumers.’
Operationally, the platform aggregates and structures consumer data residing in the MNOs’ systems while also anonymizing this data to discard any personally identifiable information.
The system also matches this data with prevailing mobile identifiers so as to make it actionable and employs probabilistic modeling and machine learning techniques to enrich requests with contextual scores
Projjol Banerjea, cofounder and Chief Product Officer, sad: ‘Our work with telecom operators as well as regulators in strictly legislated markets has helped us build a platform that eliminates data leakage and ensures every aspect of a transaction is entirely privacy compliant.’
Zeotap currently partners with three large MNOs on an opt in collection service in Europe and is in advanced discussions with MNOs in the US as well as select Asian countries.
The company has secured $1.3 million in seed funding from successful company builder HitFox Group, whose founder Jan Beckers was recently awarded Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2014, as well as a team of angel investors, including Peter Zühlsdorff, former chairman of market research company GfK Group, Andreas Kindt, former board member of TOnline (Deutsche Telekom), Armin Iskander, founder and CEO of a boutique consulting company for telecoms, Dr. Stefan Schmitgen, former Senior Partner and MD of McKinsey’s Asia telecoms practice, Dirk Freytag, former SVP at AOL, and other telecoms and data privacy experts.
The core team comprisesDaniel Heer, cofounder and CEO, who spent five years at Vodafone before joining AppLift as Director of Strategic Partnerships, Projjol Banerjea, cofounder and Chief Product Officer, previously Chief Product Officer at moboqo (acquired by Applovin) and prior to that VP Marketing & Business Development at Fyber (acquired by RNTS Media for $190 million), Stephan Schwebe, Chief Sales Officer, who was at IBM for nine years, most recently managing a 1400strong team as Director of their Cloud Solutions & Managed Services division, and Steffen Vollmerding, Director of Strategic Partnerships, with seven years of experience at Vodafone, most recently in their big data analytics team.
The company has also recently recruited a CTO in the Bay Area who has more than 10 years of experience at prominent technology companies (more details to be revealed soon).
Zeotap is growing quickly and has already logged six digit revenues in just a couple of months of operation. With the recent hire of the CTO, a San Francisco office –where it plans to build its product and engineering team– is imminent. At the same time, it continues to fortify its relationships with MNOs and is looking to set up an office in Singapore in early 2015 to grow its Asian presence.