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News Plus 11 Nov 2021 - 2 min read

Adtech cash boom continues as CTV battle hots up, CDPs rise, smart money bets on automated creative

By Staff writer
Adtech bull market returns

The adtech funding and marketing data boom keeps rolling. Major deals struck as IAS and DoubleVerify do battle for CTV supremacy while smart money piles in to customer data platforms (CDPs), automated creative tech.


What you need to know:

  • DoubleVerify hits back at rival IAS with US$150m OpenSlate deal as CTV battle heats up.
  • Biggest ever CDP fundraise as Softbank leads US$234m round for US-based Treasure Data. 
  • Automated digital ad creation platform Celtra sells US$150m stake to private equity firm Symphony.
  • AudioMob, which serves audio ads inside mobile games, raises $14m.

Bull run

The adtech funding and marketing data boom continued apace this week with transactions spanning in-game audio advertising, creative automation, CTV ad verification, and the largest customer data platform capital raising so far. 

Ad verification provider DoubleVerify announced it will buy OpenSlate for US$150m following rival IAS, which snagged a similar company, Publica, in August for US$220m. Both DoubleVerify and IAS are battling it out to be the dominant CTV verification provider as the market experiences hockey stick growth. OpenSlate claims it enables brands to align advertising with suitable or contextually relevant content across social video and CTV. 

Also cashing in was Celtra. The automated digital ad creation platform sold a US$150m stake to private equity player Symphony Technology Group per Business Insider. Consolidation of ad management and creative platforms is gaining momentum, as witnessed by the US$500m purchase of Flashtalking by MediaOcean in July. 

Another winner this week was AudioMob, which serves audio ads inside mobile games, and is planning to expand the global reach of its experimental audio technology. The company, staffed by former Google, Apple, and Facebook employees, raised US$14 million in a Series A round led by Makers Fund and Lightspeed Venture Partners, while Sequoia Scout Program and Google also tipped in money. AudioMob CTO Wilfred Obeng told TechCrunch: “We understand that consumers don’t want to be interrupted, advertisers want their ads to be heard and game developers want to ensure monetisation does not affect retention. And now we have built products which meet all three needs.”

CDP boom

The biggest ever fund raising event in the hot CDP market to date was the US$234 million raised last week by Treasure Data. Japan’s Softbank Corp was the lead investor in the California based company, which says it “connects all data into one smart customer data platform, uniting teams and systems to power purposeful engagements that drive value and protect privacy for every customer, every time”.

Brands deploy CDPs to manage the trove of zero and first party data they collect from consumer online interactions. This data is then used to better segment and target marketing campaigns, and improve the customer experience.

Some brands are using that data to power both on-site and in-app experiences and advertising to their own customers within walled gardens, and plugging it in via API links to external walled gardens, i.e. Big Tech, to drive major ad efficiencies and suppress non-relevant ads and customers.

“Companies are embracing digital transformation with an urgency and CDPs are a critical tool for businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve,” said Eric Gan, executive vice president with SoftBank Corp.

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