Drawbridge Raises $14 Million VC Investment for Cross-Device Ad Tracking

Following Users As They Move From PCs to Mobile Phones and Tablets

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Drawbridge, a San Mateo, Calif.-based startup that tracks users across devices, closed a $14 million series B funding round on Thursday. Northgate Capital led the investment round and was joined by existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and Sequioa Capital. The company has now raised a total of $20.5 million in venture capital with this latest round valuing it at roughly $45 million, according to an executive familiar with the deal.

Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan
Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan

Founded in November 2010, the company aims to create profiles of individual web users that will track their Internet activity across devices. Advertisers can then use Drawbridge data to identify how a user accesses the web via different web-enabled devices and serve them ads accordingly.

The technology attempts to solve a problem that vexes marketers: the most common type of online tracking--through cookies set on web browsers--does not work as users migrate to mobile devices.

The company profiles web users by aggregating the billions of ad requests made through ad networks daily and organizing the data based upon time, IP address, device type, browser type and device ID. Through statistical analysis and pattern recognition, Drawbridge says it can track how individual user traverses the web on his or her smartphone, tablet, laptop and PC.

Still, the anonymized tracking system is typically only 60% to 70% accurate for most users, and 90% accurate on some devices.

The investment, then, reflects an industry-wide belief that developing cross-device tracking will allow advertisers to target users and track their conversions with unprecedented accuracy. Knowing that a user who was served a company's banner ad on his or her laptop and subsequently downloaded that company's app is valuable, but the technology connecting those two actions is still in its infancy.

Drawbridge's revenue run rate is currently more than $8 million and it's projecting to double that number in the coming year. Prior to Drawbridge, Ms. Sivaramakrishnan worked at mobile ad company AdMob and then Google after Google acquired the startup.

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