Looking Beyond Retargeting, AdRoll Acquires Analytics Startup Bitdeli

Ad retargeting company AdRoll is announcing that it has acquired a startup called Bitdeli for an undisclosed sum.

Bitdeli is just a two-person team — brothers Jyri Tuulos and Ville Tuulos, who founded the company together. AdRoll co-founder and CEO Aaron Bell told me that he has known about the brothers since 2008, and they’ve had an “on-and-off dialogue” about joining his company for years.

At the same time, this isn’t just a talent acquisition. Yes, the brothers will become part of the AdRoll team, but Bell said the company will also be integrating Bitdeli’s technology into its retargeting tools. Bitdeli offers a platform for custom analytics, allowing businesses to build their own dashboards and visualizations with the specific data. That’s useful for AdRoll, Bell said, because one of the company’s main values is “transparency,” so Bitdeli can give advertisers more insight into ad effectiveness with the metrics that they care about.

Bell added that the new technology also provides “a good foundation,” as AdRoll plans to expand beyond ad retargeting. He didn’t get specific about what’s coming next, except to note that retargeting (where visitors are tracked by cookies and see ads based on their past activity) is just one way that businesses can use the information that they have about their customers.

“Businesses have a hard time understanding their customer data and really acting on it,” Bell said. “We fundamentally believe that the customer data that any online site has can be its single most effective tool. We’re just helping companies tap into that.”

AdRoll says that it works with 6,000 advertisers globally. Bitdeli, meanwhile, is serving 700 developers and small and medium businesses. Ville said he hopes to move many of those customers onto the AdRoll platform. At the same time, he said the startup’s GitHub Badge, a free analytics product for GitHub users, will be maintained as a standalone product.

Bitdeli was incubated at the Founders Den and raised funding from angel investors, including AdRoll co-founder Jared Kopf.