Umbel Gets Strategic Investment From Knight Foundation To Change The Way Online Audiences Are Measured

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Reporting and analytics firm Umbel wants to provide new metrics for measuring content online, to help publishers better monetize their content. And it’s getting some validation from the Knight Foundation, which was just announced as a strategic investor in the startup.

Umbel uses big data analysis of publisher data to better measure audiences that view their content. By using public data provided by social logins, it can provide real-time data about those audiences and help publishers engage with them. It has data from 2.5 million registered users today, which it correlates against 30 different data sources to provide composite audience information.

Umbel therefore provides publishers with more granular data about who’s viewing their content, going beyond just the usual demographics and geography data provided by most third-party measurement systems. That will help publishers to better pitch their audience’s value and interests to brands and agencies.

To help with this, the Knight Foundation has made a strategic investment in Umbel, as part of the $3.7 million Series A Round it announced in April. That round was led by Austin Ventures and also included investment from angels such as Herbert Simon, Chairman and Director of the Simon Property group, and Gordon Paddison, CEO Stradella Road and former EVP of New Media Marketing at Newline Cinema.

The investment was made as part of the Knight Enterprise Fund, an early-stage venture fund focused on innovation in the media industry. In addition to money, Umbel and other Knight Enterprise Fund investments will gain access to advisers that include Joi Itoh, John Palfrey, and Chris Hughes. It will also give Umbel an inside track into the Knight Foundation’s journalism network — the idea is to position Umbel’s measurement services as a value-add to other services provided by the foundation.

As more and more publishers have fewer resources to boost monetization, Umbel’s technology — and this strategic partnership — could give them the tools to engage with audiences and pitch them to advertisers.