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Integral Ad Science Acquires Simplytics To Extend Anti-Fraud Capability To Mobile

More Movement On The Anti-Fraud Front

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Integral Ad Science -- a five year old company which started out in ad verification before expanding to viewability and fraud detection -- has acquired UK-based Simplytics, a mobile ad server and analytics platform with a staff of 10, the company announced Tuesday.

Integral Ad Science CEO Scott Knoll
Integral Ad Science CEO Scott Knoll

The move will enable Integral to extend its offering to mobile, with the hope that it will soon be able to monitor and take action against unsafe, non-viewable and fraudulent inventory across screens.

"What this acquisition allows us to do is offer the same level of transparency in mobile that we're able to offer in display and video," said Integral CEO Scott Knoll in a phone interview. "By transparency I mean: Was my ad served to a human? How long was my ad seen for? Is it on content that I'm comfortable with?"

Integral, which rebranded from AdSafe in November 2012, is one of a growing number of ad-tech companies aiming to give advertisers visibility into the dark areas of the digital advertising supply chain. The company is making a go of it, having raised a $30 million in January led by August Capital.

When it comes to fraud, Mr. Knoll said Integral's technology can detect suspect traffic in real time and prevent advertisers from serving ads to it. Exchanges can also use Integral's technology to weed out sites with a high prevalence of fraud.

While the aims are ambitious, many companies have promised to solve the advertising industry's bot traffic problem only to fail. The prevailing feeling among advertising executives today is that fraud is worse than ever.

"Mobile has kind of been like the wild west," said Mr. Knoll of his company's new area of focus. "Nobody knows what the viewability rates are, nobody knows what the interaction is like, no one knows if there's a lot of fraud or not."

"There's just very little level of detail around mobile advertising at this point," he said.

Integral, which declined to disclose the deal size, has raised $47.3 million to date. It employs over 100 people and is headquartered in New York.

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