Drawbridge, a startup founded by former Google and AdMob scientist Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan is officially coming out of stealth today and announcing $6.5 million in Series A funding from Silicon Valley’s premier venture capitalists, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital. Drawbridge aims to solve the two biggest hurdles in mobile advertising today: targeting and tracking. The company is developing a first of its kind self-learning cross-device advertising solution that brings desktop-like targeting to mobile advertising.
Advertising fuels the economy of both the desktop and mobile Internet, from websites to smartphone apps. Desktop advertising is over a $30 billion industry; mobile advertising is still only a small fraction of that size. In order for mobile to take off and grow to its full potential, Drawbridge aims to solve mobile advertising’s biggest obstacles. Today, there is a big disparity between the sophisticated targeting and performance metrics for the desktop, and the relative absence of these capabilities for mobile display advertising. Drawbridge bridges this gap.
“Today, targeting in mobile display advertising is more about the device than the audience behind it,” said Sivaramakrishnan, founder and CEO at Drawbridge. “Consumers now have multiple touch points across various screens. We want to leverage this emerging user behavior and unlock the power of cross-device data to impact targeting in mobile. The Drawbridge platform makes it possible to understand behavior on any device and use those insights to effectively reach mobile audiences.”
“Mobile advertising is a decade behind Internet advertising in both targeting and scale,” said Matt Murphy, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “Drawbridge will close that gap by combining the best of both worlds to deliver industry-leading targeting and ROI across the entire digital landscape.”
Drawbridge’s approach to targeting mobile audiences is unique in its ability to draw from vast amounts of anonymous cross-device data to achieve extraordinary precision and granularity. This creates a more relevant and personalized experience for users, improved ROI for advertisers, and better monetization for publishers.
“Mobile devices are much more personal than desktop computers. Furthermore, screen real estate is much more limited,” said Vikrant Gandhi, principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “For these reasons, to be effective, ads must become highly personalized, selectively targeted and relevant. The ability to apply insights from cross-device behavior to mobile users, as Drawbridge does, is a giant step toward achieving that goal.”
“Kamakshi and her team have many of the same qualities I witnessed in Omar Hamoui and his team when we partnered with AdMob six years ago,” said Jim Goetz, partner at Sequoia Capital. “They have a game-changing technology, a strong focus on engineering, and virtually instant traction with advertisers and publishers.”
Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan founded Drawbridge in November 2010. She is an expert in machine learning and was lead scientist at AdMob, which was acquired by Google in 2010. Sivaramakrishnan has a doctorate in information theory from Stanford University.
AdMob pioneered mobile display advertising, but since then, there have been no significant advancements in targeting capabilities. Drawbridge brings the innovative technology, and understanding of data that is necessary to solve this problem.
Drawbridge’s cross-device advertising platform is currently in beta. Advertisers and publishers interested in learning more about Drawbridge can visit www.drawbrid.ge.