Drawbridge Is Building A Business Beyond Ad Targeting

Drawbridge isn’t just an ad-tech company anymore.

We’ve written about how the company, which is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital, has built technology to determine when the same person is using multiple devices — so data from one device can be used (in an anonymized way) to target ads another. However, CEO Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan said that in the past year-plus, the company has also launched data licensing and software-as-a-service products for non-advertising customers.

In fact, Sivaramakrishnan said that the company reached an annualized run rate of $100 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, split more-or-less evenly between ad- and non-ad revenue.

After all, advertisers who aren’t the only ones interacting with consumers across laptops, phones, tablets and more. Unless they can convince most of those users to actually log in, those businesses can’t create a unified experience across those devices.

The company says it’s already working with customers including LiveRamp, Foursquare, Kenshoo, MarketShare (acquired by Neustar) and The Trade Desk for things like content optimization, site personalization, risk and fraud detection and marketing automation.

“If we can exit the year of 2016 with our targets achieved for data licensing, we can legitimately say at the time that we’ve become the independent currency for identity,” Sivaramakrishnan said. She added that the need for this technology is only going to grow as more devices become connected to the Internet: “I wouldn’t want an ad on my refrigerator, but if I could get a personalized message or a reminder of the Warrior’s score or my favorite team’s update, that’s a consumer-centric application.”

She described the expanded business as a “customer-driven” move, but she also acknowledged that “the whole ad-tech ecosystem is going through some time of internal introspection of what is the future of our industry going to look like.” Put more bluntly, it’s probably a good time to be looking beyond ad tech, given skepticism from public markets and venture capitalists.