Just before Christmas, LoopMe, a mobile video advertising company headquartered in London, raised $7 million to continue their expansion. The company has 70 staff, of whom 30 are engineers, spread across the US, UK, China, Dubai and Ukraine, with offices in France and Germany to be launched this quarter. Here Stephen Upstone, CEO at LoopMe, provides some insight into how the company attracted investment in what are troublesome times for parts of the ad tech world.
You recently raised money at a time when many are talk about VC coffers drying up when it comes to ad tech investment. Was it difficult to raise the money or do investors still see opportunities in ad tech?
VCs are always looking for a sustainable competitive advantage which creates value for customers in a large and growing market. In our case the advantage they loved was how we implement artificial intelligence in the mobile video advertising market, and the huge potential data from mobile offers the entire video advertising ecosystem.
Are advertisers using your platform on a self-service basis or are many still looking for a managed service?
Our key clients have been using this system for the last few years and while some do prefer a managed service it’s our vision that more and more will embrace the self-service model going forward. To cover individual client preference, we offer managed service and our platform which is made up of both SAAS and exchange. What advertisers particularly like about SAAS is that they can easily implement 1st and 3rd party data within the platform and optimize with artificial intelligence against the KPI of their choosing.
LoopMe has chosen to focus only on mobile video advertising. Do you have any plans to also move into desktop and perhaps connected TV advertising?
Data from mobile advertising will drive the video ecosystem across all screens. It’s far more rich than anything from other media with data available on behavior, location, purchase intent, how users react in certain scenarios etc and is something that will be implemented on desktop and cross-screen TVs so these areas are important for us. Mobile data will become more valuable over time as we learn how it can best work across all screens.
The industry’s reputation has been battered on various fronts, including fraud, viewability and ad-blocking. What needs to be done to reform digital advertising?
An advantage of digital is the measurability and instantaneous speed of the feedback loop. While traditionally advertisers were required to wait months for feedback on their campaigns, digital allows advertisers immediate insights into who is watching their content in a more meaningful way.
By analyzing these insights and implementing artificial intelligence it is possible to dramatically increase the quality of the ads being served and ensure they are reaching the right people at the right time, rather than operating on a much broader approach where advertisers only target general audience segments. If we as an industry, and it’s something LoopMe and many attribution companies are working on, can identify what users respond to want we can dramatically reduce problems like ad-blocking.