Montreal-based Optable, a SaaS data connectivity platform cofounded by a few notable players in the advertising technology space, is raising a seed round worth $3.6 million.
The round was led by Brightspark Ventures. It also included several angel investors within the media and advertising industry. Those include David Hahn, former CPO of Integral Ad Science (acquired by Vista Equity Partners); David Yaffe, founder of Arbor (acquired by LiveRamp); Jim Payne, founder of MoPub (acquired by Twitter); and Alex Blum, formerly of Tru Optik (acquired by TransUnion).
What does Optable do, exactly?
Optable calls itself a software platform “built for the next generation of media companies.”
It uses cryptography to enable decentralized, secure data collaboration within the adtech space. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means, we’ll try to walk you through it.
Cryptography basically ensures that access to viewing your private communication is not possible for people whom you don’t want viewing it. It ensures that the communication is “secure”. People working in cryptography construct and analyze protocols that prevent third parties (called “adversaries”) or the public from reading private messages.
We might agree that in many scenarios that is extremely important for media companies with sensitive data.
Thus, Optable uses cryptography to ensure that data can be safely compared, matched, and activated. Because of this technology, the company claims “it is the only solution in-market that offers a decentralized approach, meaning an Optable user can securely receive audience matches from any partner, whether or not they are using Optable’s solution.”
“Everyone should be in control of their own data. There will be more walled gardens and a greater need to collaborate, and now we have better ways to do it while allowing companies to remain in control,” said CEO Yves Poiré.
Optable targets the fast-changing Adtech landscape
Optable’s solution is focused on the adtech space. As the company explains, there has been a fundamental shift in how data is governed, connected, and used.
The advertising space is rapidly changing in how audience data can be used as third-party cookies go away, while new privacy legislation emerges.
“This creates an immediate and pressing need for new solutions to enable advertisers, publishers, and the entire adtech ecosystem to safely and securely compare and leverage audience data,” writes Optable.
“We are on the cusp of a new era in advertising. Regulation, browser and mobile OS changes require a radically new approach to managing customer data,” added CTO Bosko Milekic.
For the CEO Poiré, the disappearance of third-party cookies and other global identifiers will empower more companies than ever before to collect quality first-party data. Because of this fragmentation, businesses need a new approach to data collaboration between partners.
“Optable is bringing a privacy-centric, transparent solution to the market that will enable all participants in the ecosystem to collaborate and leverage their data under the safest conditions,” he said.
Poiré cofounded the company along with two others, Bosko Milekic, and Vlad Stesin. The trio possess street cred in their industry: Optable is the third business they have founded together. Their last venture, AdGear, was acquired by Samsung Ads in 2016.
“The Optable team understands the media and advertising landscape better than anyone,” said Brightspark Ventures’ Sophie Forest. “Challenges the team has observed in the CTV space are increasingly seen in other environments. Fragmentation requires a new approach to data collaboration between partners.”