Drawbridge, a cross-device ad targeting startup backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital, officially expands into Europe today with the appointment of Kate Burns, one of Europe’s most experienced ‘scaling up’ executives. Burns is the ex-Director of Google UK and the ex-CEO of AOL EU and will be based in London to lead Drawbridge’s entry into Europe, Middle East, and Africa markets.
Burns is a rare beast on the European tech scene: a highly experienced operator with over 16 years of sales, business development and digital expansion experience on an international level for major technology brands. In particular, London, where she will build out the office, is widely acknowledged as the platform for the international advertising industry.
Drawbridge is clearly looking to capitalise on the growth in the global market for cross device advertising. The company is located in Silicon Valley and is backed by Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Northgate Capital.
Its ‘big idea’ is trying to improve mobile ad targeting by collecting data about user activity on the desktop web, mobile web, and mobile apps, then using “probabilistic and statistical inference models” to suggest which PC and mobile users are actually the same person using different devices.
This is extremely important when it comes to so-called “two screen media” – where people watch TV and interact with the mobile or tablet device.
Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, CEO of Drawbridge notes that “Kate was instrumental in driving Google’s early growth in Europe and her effort building AOL’s advertisers and publishers networks, made her a perfect choice to lead our international expansion.”
Burns was Google’s first international hire in 2001, has held key sales positions at Altavista, Doubleclick, Ziff Davis, and News International and also created KT3, a commercial development firm helping technology businesses expand into Europe.
Drawbridge recently expanded with a new feature allowing mobile advertisers to reach consumers with retargeted ads, regardless of whether they’re using an app or on the mobile web.