MdotLabs Lands First Round Funding From Chicago Ventures, Great Oaks, and Prominent Angels
Startup Helps Campaigns and Web Sites Avoid Non-Human Traffic Saving Advertisers and Premium Publishers Billions in Lost Ad Spend
11/13/2013 – MdotLabs (www.MdotLabs.com) a SaaS security platform company launched to help advertisers avoid being victimized by invalid traffic, today announced it has closed a first round of venture funding of $1.25 million led by Chicago Ventures and NYC-based Great Oaks Venture Capital. Prominent angel investors, including Ray Zemon (founder of Amazon property ShopBop.com), also participated in the round.
“Since our launch we have provided security against botnet fraud for major brands and hundreds of premium publishers. It’s clear the MdotLabs platform is able to prevent invalid activity that others aren’t even detecting,” says MdotLabs CEO and co-founder Timur Yarnall. “We’re very pleased with the investor consortium backing MdotLabs, and will use these funds to grow our data scientist and software development teams.”
“MdotLabs helps advertisers, demand-side platforms, and publisher networks ID and avoid invalid traffic which is now costing the online ad ecosystem billions every year in wasted ad spending,” says Andrew Boszhardt, Jr. Founder & Managing Partner of Great Oaks Ventures. “Timur and Paul and the MdotLabs team have developed campaign security analytics that provide highly accurate and timely detection of invalid impression and click activity for both online and mobile traffic. We see almost no limit to its growth and potential to dominate the fraud protection market.”
“Our research and resulting technical papers show that fraudulent impressions are estimated to account for 20- 30% of overall online ad traffic,” says Chief Scientist and co-founder Paul Barford. “And we also know that the types of fraud are evolving and changing very quickly, which is why we’ve taken a security-systems approach to what is essentially an arms race. MdotLabs is the right technology at the right time to help restore accountability to online advertising.”
MdotLabs was spun out of Broadcast Interactive Media, whose evolving suite of Web, video, and mobile publishing tools help increase client revenues by driving higher user engagement and improving ad delivery this summer. BIM works with high demand local media and pure play publishers such as the NBC TV Stations group, Belo Corp, and Fisher Interactive Network. BIM optimizes mobile, display, and video inventory and in the process sees roughly 500 million monthly impressions from over 40 million unique visitors. BIM’s ability to see a wide swath of traffic and identify the kinds of irregularities that point to invalid activity for both brands and publishers led to the launch of MdotLabs.
“Chicago Ventures has a strong track record of investing in data platform companies, and we recognize the severity of the problem that MdotLabs is solving,” says Stuart Larkins, co-founder and Partner at Chicago Ventures. “We’re confident that MdotLabs has the right team to stay ahead of those engaged in ad fraud, and to address the broader security issues related to botnet activity.”
Chicago Ventures (www.chicagoventures.com) invests in well-managed seed-stage technology companies in Chicago and the Greater Midwest that have demonstrated a value proposition in a given market for their product or services. The fund looks to make initial investments ranging from $250,000 to $1 million in each company.
Great Oaks Venture Capital LLC (www.greatoaksvc.com) is a seed-stage investment firm committed to identifying, financing and developing early-stage growth businesses led by promising entrepreneurs. Funded and launched by Andrew Boszhardt, Jr., the company is based in New York City and has invested primarily in start-ups in technology sectors such as e-commerce, SaaS, cloud, mobile, gaming, social, ad tech and content/distribution. Typical investment size ranges from $50K to $500K.
MdotLabs (www.MdotLabs.com) is a SaaS security platform company created to fight invalid activity in web and mobile advertising. The MdotLabs’ AdSecure™ Platform is used by hundreds of publishers and top brands to identify and eliminate invalid traffic coming from botnets and click-farms that waste billions in ad campaign spend each year.
MdotLabs is privately funded, based in Madison, WI, with offices in San Francisco.