Zeotap, a startup that helps telecom companies sell their data to advertisers, announced today that it has raised â¬12 million in Series B funding (thatâs just under $13 million).
Co-founderÂ and Chief Product OfficerÂ Projjol Banerjea told me that while thereâs âdecent dataâ available for online advertisers targeting desktop users, things are shakier on the mobile side: âThe majority of data available in the market tends to be fairly poor quality.â
Specifically, he said the available data tends to be less reliable because itâs based onÂ âprobabilistic modeling.â By using data from the telcos, Banerjea said Zeotap hasÂ a wider range of data â including demographics, location and purchase intent âÂ thatâs also more reliable because itâs deterministic (which usually means itâsÂ provided by the users themselves).
And while Zeotap started out by working with telcos, Banerjea said other companies (including, according to the funding announcement, âa leading security companyâ and âa top navigation services providerâ)Â have also approached his team about selling their data.
As for privacy, Zeotap says it does not include any personally identifiable information.Â Banerjea also said that one of the key elements of the companyâsÂ strategy is the fact that it prevents advertisers from storingÂ data with persistent identifiers.
TheÂ Series BÂ comes from New Science Ventures and location services provider HERE, as well as previous investors Capnamic Ventures and Iris Capital. Zeotap has now raised more than $20 million.
One of Zeotapâs strategic investors, Xaxis co-founder Mark Grether, said via email that one of the core principles in advertising is to ânever share data directly.â
âThe moment it is out in the market, it is uncontrollable and it loses its value,â Grether said. âWhen I got to knowÂ zeotapÂ I re-discovered exactly this principle and realized the company was in a great position to gather the highest-quality data sources and monetize them across the ecosystem. Not only have they figured out smartly the data security and privacy parts of the equation, they also have a neutral position in the market and can offer the data securely to anyone who wants to leverage it.â