Drawbridge, a Kleiner Perkins- and Sequoia-backed startup aiming to improve mobile and cross-device ad targeting, has raised $14 million in Series B funding. AdAge actually broke the news earlier this week, but a source with knowledge of the deal told me that the story got one crucial detail wrong — the new funding actually valued Drawbridge at $99 million, more than double the $45 million that AdAge reported.
I trust my source more than I trust AdAge’s unidentified “executive familiar with the deal,” but then I would, wouldn’t I? For those of you following along at home, this might seem like a classic he-said she-said situation. I will point out, however, that $45 million seems like a pretty low valuation for a company that has raised a total of $20.5 million in funding. Plus, raising $14 million at that valuation would mean giving away a lot of the company. Since Drawbridge is a young startup that only raised its Series A and launched its first products last year, it probably isn’t so cash-strapped that it needs to take money on such unfavorable terms.
Drawbridge isn’t commenting on the valuation, but it did note that it’s now working with advertisers, including HotelTonight, Square, Groupon, Kabam, and PocketGems.
The company’s approach to ad targeting focuses on trying to identify cases where multiple devices are being used by a single user, so that mobile ads, in particular, can be targeted using the richer data collected from cookies on the desktop web. Drawbridge says that it has now matched 450 million devices.
Drawbridge was founded Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, formerly a scientist at Google-acquired mobile ad network AdMob. The new round was led by Northgate Capital, with participation from previous investors Kleiner and Sequoia.
Update: As part of a longer conversation on Twitter, AdAge’s John McDermott clarified that the valuation in his story is pre-money (i.e., the value of the company before the investment). Therefore the post-money valuation was $60 million.
I’ve confirmed that my source’s $99 million valuation was post-money, so I was not making an apples-to-apples comparison. The more relevant comparison would be the $45 million pre-money suggested by McDermott’s source and the approximately $85 million pre-money valuation that my source is (implicitly) claiming. I apologize for not nailing that down before posting (and yeah, an awkward thing to admit when I’m giving someone else crap for supposedly getting something wrong).
Drawbridge has developed the first self-learning ad technology that leverages insights from cross-device behavior to enable advertisers and marketers to reach targeted mobile audiences. Drawbridge’s unique approach is built on a foundation of large-scale machine learning algorithms that correlate audience behavior across screens. Through its innovative technology, the company is able to gain insights and a much deeper understanding of mobile audience behavior than was previously possible. The company is located in Silicon Valley and is backed by Sequoia...
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