Click Forensics has secured $6 million in Series "C" venture capital funding led by Austin Ventures with support from Sierra Ventures and Shasta Ventures. The company, which plans to announce the funding on Wednesday, plans to build out new audience verification products for the display advertising market to complement similar offerings available to search advertisers. Stanford University also invested a small amount in this round, and participated in the Series "B" funding.
It's all about increasing transparency in search and display advertising. During the past four months, Click Forensics has been working with a handful of advertisers to build out and perfect a display advertising platform, says Paul Pellman, chief executive officer of Click Forensics. "We'll bring the same capabilities like machine learning, predictive modeling and traffic quality for clicks to the impressions space to help advertisers do a better job of verifying audiences," he says.
Although it's a new market for Click Forensics, it leverages many of the capabilities, infrastructure, dashboard, and service offerings.
Thomas Ball, partner at Austin Ventures, told MediaPost the firm gave Click Forensics the funding to help more quickly develop solutions for the more than $22 billion annual market, as companies continue to face challenges related to display ads and audience verification because of all of the new players trying to help automate ad and audience delivery.
Austin Ventures also participated in the "A" and "B" rounds, along with providing $500,000 in seed funding to kick-start Click Forensics. "We don't normally plan out the number of rounds we'll make," Ball says. "We decided to raise the Series C round to help speed the delivery of new offerings for the display advertising market."
Although Ball declined to discuss Click Forensics' exit strategy, whether he sees an initial public offering or acquisition in the company's future, he explained how technology could fill the gap for transparency and accountability technology.
The advent of third-party ad networks, exchanges, and DSPs has provided advertisers with more opportunities to reach larger audiences more cost-effectively, according to Ball. "Right now, however, there are really no products in the market that confirm that the audience the display advertiser bought is indeed the audience they reached," he says. "Click Forensics' experience providing these solutions for search advertisers make it suited to deliver them for display."