New York-based social trends-based adtech startup Taykey announced Tuesday it had raised a $US15 million funding round, bringing its total funding to date up to $US32 million.
The latest investment comes from Eric Schmidt’s venture arm Innovation Endeavours and from current Taykey investors including Tenaya Capital, Marker LLC, Sequoia Capital, and SoftBank Capital.
Taykey’s CEO Amit Avner told Business Insider the company plans to use the additional funding to build itself from being the discovery engine it is currently that that helps brands programmatically buy media based on topics that are trending, to a bigger SaaS (Software as a Service) platform that allows marketers plug into its platform to inform their entire marketing outlay.
The company has already worked with more than 100 major clients including AT&T, Disney, Google, Starbucks, Procter & Gamble and Toyota — which is no doubt why it has caught the attention of investors.
A marketer at P&G looking to advertise a new deodorant to 18-year-old females who liked music, for example, would come to Taykey to find the right online audiences to find the right kind of online media to buy programmatically. On a channel like TV that would be more simple — you’d grab a primetime slot in a program like The X Factor — but online that’s harder to do, there’s not really a primetime and it’s far more fragmented.
Taykey’s software plugs into more than 50,000 sources — social networks, sites like YouTube and DailyMotion, and publishers like BuzzFeed and The New York Times — to provide insights on what is trending right now among that desired audience. It has 12 patents for “artificial neural networks” that make intelligent guesses to assume a website visitor’s age and demographic. Once the software identifies a particular trending topic — Justin Bieber, for example — Taykey adjusts an advertiser’s budget and targeting across Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube accordingly.
This business strategy has helped Taykey grow its revenue by 600% since January 2013, the company claims. It does not reveal actual revenue figures, but Avner says it has a revenue runrate in multiples of $US10 million (but less than $US100 million.)
To continue its triple-digit growth into 2015, Taykey has used its latest funding round to invest in the launch of a wider marketing platform that goes beyond just online media spend. It is opening up its real-time data so marketers can forecast trends and make marketing decisions such as who should become their next spokesmodel, the types of social media content they should be lining up, or new product development.
Avner describes his company’s unique selling point as “prime-time, all the time,” and plans to add more platform support and further the company’s investment in tech to achieve its ambitions to “double or triple” revenue this year.
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