Permutive announces that it has raised $ 18.5 million in Series B funding as the London-based startup works to help online publishers make money in a changing privacy landscape.
CEO Joe Root, who co-founded the company with technical director Tim Spratt, noted that publishers are facing increasing regulation as web browsers remove support for third-party cookies – all good news for advocates of privacy, but with a real disadvantage for the publisher’s announcement of revenues (blocking cookies leads to an average drop of 52% in advertising revenues, according to a study by Google last year).
Permutive is trying to solve this problem by allowing publishers to use their own proprietary data more efficiently. Root estimated that without cookies, 10% of web visitors are logged in and authenticated, while 90% are anonymous, and he said: “We use the knowledge and understanding of that 10% to make predictions about that 90%. “
Thus, from a single anonymous page, Permutive can collect 20 or 30 data points on visitor behavior, which it then uses to try to project who could be this visitor and what could interest him. Root also noted that the company’s technology relies on advanced computer technology, which allows it to process data faster, which is crucial for publishers who only have a few seconds to show an ad. to the visitor.
If you are wondering if this approach has its own privacy or regulatory implications, Root has suggested that Permutive spends “a lot of time making sure that we are ideologically aligned with [European privacy regulation] GDPR and ideologically aligned with browsers. “
On the one hand, “we don’t think that data should be portable in all applications”, which is why Permutive focuses on helping publishers to use their own data. For another, Root said that Permutive is committed to “destroying identity in the adtech ecosystem.”
“Data usage is not a problem – it’s when you associate data with an identity,” he added. So without an identity, “Instead of saying,” Here’s an ad for Anthony, find out everything you know about Anthony, “we say,” Here’s an ad for a user interested in tech media. One model is leaking data and the other is not. “
Root also suggested that these changes will allow ad funds to revert to premium publishers who have more engagement and reader data – publishers who he says have “so far funded the long tail” with their data based on cookies.
This approach is reflected in the publishers that Permutive already works with, including BuzzFeed, Penske, The Financial Times, The Guardian, Business Insider, The Daily Telegraph, The Economist, Bell Media, News UK and MailOnline.
Founded in 2014, Permutive had previously raised $ 11.5 million, according to Crunchbase. Series B was chaired by Octopus Ventures with the participation of EQT Ventures and former investors.
“Today, Permutive is the category leader in the UK in its field and beats global companies by $ 1 billion on a consistent basis in testing processes,” said Will Gibbs of Octopus Ventures. . in a report. “The team has hired many amazing people and is now ready to replicate the success seen in the United Kingdom in the United States. Given changing regulatory priorities and customers, Permutive technology could be a real pioneer in its field.”
The startup also announces that it has hired Aly Nurmohamed (former global managing director of Criteo’s partner publishers) as managing director of publishing and Steve Francolla (former director of global publishing strategy for LiveRamp) as responsible for partnerships.