Permutive secures $75m to manage adtech privacy shift

Audience platform Permutive has secured a further $75m from a Softbank fund to further its work in rebuilding data in programmatic advertising to protect privacy.

Investors including EQT Ventures, Octopus Ventures and ACE & Company have to date built a $105m war chest to realize the goal of trading media in a privacy-friendly way between publishers and advertisers amid a backlash from regulators and consumers.

Riding into this storm, Permutive promises to manage the shift from adtech-owned programmatic advertising to a publisher-owned privacy-first web by harnessing consented first-party data to drive targeted ads.

Serving a host of publishers on both sides of the Atlantic – including News Corp, Hearst, BuzzFeed, Penske, The Guardian, Vox Media, Insider, Hubert Burda Media and Condé Nast International – the cash injection will help maintain explosive 20x growth in targeted ads over the past two years.

Joe Root, chief executive officer and co-founder of Permutive, said: “Publishers are the foundation of the web, and the relationship they have with their users is the backbone of digital advertising. As privacy shifts the economics of the internet toward this publisher-owned web, a privacy-first infrastructure will ensure this next iteration of digital advertising is immune to privacy chaos, and will scale and thrive.”

Max Ohrstrand, investor for SoftBank Investment Advisers, added: “To underpin a privacy-first web requires unique technology. As a leader in on-device technology, Permutive can bring a complicated landscape that’s being significantly disrupted into a privacy-safe future. The company’s technology is now running on over 1bn devices a month globally, and we see tremendous opportunity for sustained growth as on-device processing reshapes adtech.”

By building the infrastructure necessary to manage this transition, Permutive will enable publishers and advertisers to control their data while planning and buying campaigns for greater transparency, scale and privacy.

Permutive won the ‘best sell-side innovation’ category at The Drum Digital Advertising Awards 2020 for a collaboration with The Financial Times to comply with privacy regulations while delivering targeted ads.