The growth of ad measurement companies can best be exemplified by the reported $850 million that Oracle is reportedly willing to play to purchase Moat, an ad measurement firm. The demand in ad measurement companies is also clear due to the simple fact that ad measurement companies are raising a lot more money at a period when venture capital funding in ad technology has declined. Conversion Logic, which tracks browsing behavior across devices, raised $9 million in March. Alphonso, which verifies linear TV viewers on their mobile devices, raised about $6 million in June. And Open Up, which focuses on mobile attribution, is raising $1.5 million in its first round of seed funding this year.
“There are startups going after this space,” said Eric Franchi, an ad tech angel investor who is looking at investing in ad measurement startups. “Some of the current products were built for a different era, so [measurement startups] are looking at a 20-year problem in a more modern way.”
David Hahn, chief product officer at ad measurement firm Integral Ad Science, said that while just a few vendors have a full suite of products to track fraud, viewability, brand-unsafe inventory and attribution, there are emerging companies that are opting focus on a particular facet of ad measurement. Although startup measurement firms can’t compete with industry stalwarts like Moat, DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science on pure scale, they can find success in niches, like Alphonso does with measuring targeted TV ads.
A couple of events that have happened in the past year have also led to the increase in demand for ad measurement companies. Facebook admission to metric errors and YouTube placing ads alongside extremists video content all created an uproar among advertisers and led to an increase in demand for ad tracking from third party companies all to protect their brand.