Despite a news cycle that seems to equate “big data” with “bigger scandals,” some businesses are proving that data-driven companies can still have legs.
This morning, buy-side-centric data provider Dstillery said it has closed a $5.9 million funding round, driven by Newspring Capital, Venrock and Contour Venture Partners. This funding, said the company, will build upon Dstillery’s audience data business to increase its solutions portfolio, expand its partnership footprint and “enhance” its team.
“The feedback that we’re getting from the market is that what we do is different—and that’s because we’ve been putting a heavy investment in computing, data infrastructure and people,” said Dstillery CEO Michael Beebe. “Instead of approaching an agency and selling it as a managed service on a campaign-by-campaign basis, what we’re really doing is approaching agencies on a high level and selling ourselves as an enterprise data solution. And that’s something that I don’t see others doing.”
Though originally a DSP-driven ad-tech business, Dstillery has rebranded itself this year as an “audience solutions partner,” said Beebe. Its pitch, in a nutshell, is building custom campaign targeting strategies using an in-house AI built off of roughly 10 million audience attributes.
This AI continuously scores and rescores hundreds of millions of potential audience members on a daily basis, ensuring that the brands and agencies using Dstillery’s targeting for their programmatic campaigns are offered the most up-to-date pool of potential customers possible. Through the company’s proprietary Audience Studio, agencies can combine their own first-party data with these in-house offerings to better customize campaigns.
“We’re not just capturing web-visitation type behaviors, and I think that’s what sets us apart, ” Beebe said. “We’re capturing a much more holistic view of what consumers are doing, and sometimes that means looking beyond the click-through rate.”
Aside from this in-house AI, Dstillery also offers a “portfolio” of prebuilt audience segments around target behavior, like in-store visitation, consumer location and demographics courtesy of partnerships with location data providers and SDK vendors. It’s a move that not only gives a fuller view of the consumer journey but also allows advertisers to sidestep some of the limitations—and precariousness—that come bundled with cookie-based advertising in a post-GDPR world.
The approach has been successful enough to catch the attention of companies like Tremor Video and Appnexus, both of which came on board as Dstillery partners in recent month. The company also boasts ex-Apple exec Charlie Oppenheimer as a recent staff addition as Dstillery’s executive chairman.
Dstillery is hardly the only data-fied company to rake in serious cash. Earlier this week, the mobile-driven measurement company Adjust announced $227 million in funding.