The identity data market is warming up as companies collect more first-party data and online marketers do their damnedest to maintain addressable marketing without cookies or mobile ad IDs.
The category already includes the incumbent LiveRamp, major firm holding business– Dentsus Merkle, IPG and Acxiom and Publicis plus Epsilon– and start-ups, such as Zeotap and InfoSum, which have raised about $90 million apiece.
Theres still space for development. The identity resolution startup MediaWallah revealed a $2.3 million round on Wednesday with plans to more than triple its 12-person team over the next year, stated creator and CEO Nancy Marzouk.
The new funding is primarily from an unnamed strategic financier. It brings the businesss total financing to around $3.5 million.
Although its not a large equity stake, Marzouk said the brand-new financier does offer tactical value as a partner.
Adobe, for example, is an important tactical partner for MediaWallah as a favored identity resolution supplier.
MediaWallah got begun a decade back, when Marzouk stated she saw an opportunity to compete with cross-device graph companies like Drawbridge, Tapad and Crosswise (all of which have actually considering that been obtained) that concentrated on probabilistic ID matching.
” Nobody was solving for customization, since it was designed identity resolution, not down to the individual,” she stated.
In 2015, respected angel financier Bill Wise, the CEO of Mediaocean, took a small stake in MediaWallah and became its chairman. Wise then presented the start-up to Michael Donovan, Mediaoceans executive chairman, who invested $1 million at the time.
Unlike lots of entrepreneurs and market professionals who invest in marketing tech and then wait on their exit, Donovan said he was more interested in investing meaningfully and being associated with one company rather than spreading several investments in the $10,000 to $50,000 variety.
And unlike many investor-backed ad tech start-ups, MediaWallah has actually been continuously profitable.
” Im not a big believer in running substantial deficits for many years on end,” Donovan stated.
But its one thing to have a healthy, successful company and a lots employees– and another to buy development.
The company is all set for the next step, Marzouk said.
” The chance in the market today implies we have to be buying growth,” she stated, keeping in mind the uptick in brand names and companies checking brand-new identity solutions.
MediaWallahs organization was initially driven through partnerships with advertisement tech intermediaries, like Exchanges and dsps. Wise stated that over the past year the organization has actually turned to more brand-direct deals.
However what about the competitors?
Although the information onboarding and identity resolution space has numerous really solid incumbents, there are also opportunities for little business. MediaWallah pitches itself as a more transparent version of LiveRamp, which bundles and sells its own information, and hence has less transparency into the coordinating process.
A company matching its email list to LiveRamp would receive a set of anonymized IDs that were matched and can be utilized for targeting or attribution. According to Marzouk, MediaWallah can return the specific IDs that didnt match or are out of date to help weed out phony and inactive accounts. It could likewise reveal the particular apps or publishers that had high match rates with a clients information, she said, instead of LiveRamp matches which “occur in a black box.”
M&A is likewise a tailwind for MediaWallah.
When LinkedIn acquired Drawbridge in 2019, a few of its service “fell into our lap,” Marzouk said. And when firms began obtaining big identity suppliers, like Acxiom and Epsilon, it offered competitors a factor to go elsewhere.
By the very same token, as LiveRamp grows its own ID services and information marketplace, it becomes competitive with huge players, such as Adobe or Oracle. And thats where MediaWallah strokes in to strike a flagship partnership with Adobe.
“Given the shifts in the market– both M&A and information privacy as a focus– now is the time to press the accelerator,” Marzouk stated.