Canadian start-up InfoSum has raised $65 million as companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon turn to data-privacy issues to enhance their growth. The funds come from companies including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, which all have increased their data collection activities in recent months. The private equity firm BDC Capital led the new investment round. The round also comes from New York-based Oak Hill Capital, which has invested in InfoSum before. BDC has backed InfoSum before, investing in the company through its Canadian fund.
When the news broke in May 2017 that Cambridge Analytica (CA) harvested as many as 87 million Facebook users’ information in 2014, it set off a firestorm of controversy. The company’s CEO, Alexander Nix, issued a statement saying that CA had never used anyone’s Facebook data and that the company had deleted it all when CA learned that the data was being improperly collected. But the scandal deepened, as Facebook said that it had not been informed of CA’s acquisition of the data.
InfoSum Inc., a global leader in information management, announced today that it has raised $65M of new equity funding, bringing its total equity funding to date to $101M. The new funding was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with additional participation from Altice (formerly Cablevision), TransUnion (formerly TRW), and a number of other strategic investors.
InfoSum Ltd. has received $65 million in a Series B financing round to meet businesses’ increasing need for customer-data services that comply to tighter privacy regulations.
The business was valued at $300 million prior to the investment, up from $100 million before to its most recent financing round in 2020, according to the company.
According to InfoSum Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Brian Lesser, the financing, which comes solely from UK-based investment firm Chrysalis Investments Ltd., will allow the business to expand its headcount and worldwide footprint as it prepares for an IPO in the next five years.
Mr. Lesser of InfoSum, which has offices in both Basingstoke and New York, sees an opportunity to expand as businesses depend on new data collection methods in the face of stricter privacy laws and an increase in digital media consumption and e-commerce.
He said, “The business’s goal is to grow this out as a big independent platform for data cooperation and eventually take this company public.” “Obviously, we’re going to need our Series B to get there.”
According to Mr. Lesser, who took over as CEO last year, InfoSum earned between $4 million and $5 million in sales in 2020 and intends to more than quadruple its revenue in 2021.
Clients may utilize InfoSum’s technology to match online and offline data sets without having to move the data outside their businesses, and then use the information to target ads to consumers or influence other business activities like content or product development.
For instance, one customer’s data might reflect financial family income while another’s data could represent car-buying preferences. Without transmitting any data, InfoSum generates new, anonymised copies of the businesses’ data sets so they can identify where there are individuals with overlapping traits. In this instance, that might imply individuals who earn more than $100,000 and want to purchase a Lexus.
Businesses have grown more sophisticated in how they gather and utilize data and technology, but rising privacy concerns have prompted new laws and regulations in Europe and states throughout the United States, including California. Google and Apple Inc., both owned by Alphabet Inc., are planning or implementing changes to limit the use of data in ad targeting, encouraging marketers to rely more on their own customer data rather than data from third parties, as well as data-matching techniques to send digital ads to prospective consumers.
Mr. Lesser said, “This is a sea shift in how businesses think about consumer connections and how they utilize data.” “This is something that governments will continue to be interested in. This tsunami, I believe, is developing and will eventually crest.”
Other firms that claim to assist businesses in better understanding customers while protecting their privacy have also been collecting funds. Iris.TV Inc., a company whose technologies assist marketers and others analyze video content for ad targeting and measurement, received $18 million from Intel Capital and other investors this spring.
GumGum Inc., a business that offers tools to evaluate and position advertisements depending on surrounding content, has received $75 million in fresh financing from Goldman Sachs Growth.
Founded a little more than five years ago, InfoSum spent its first few years focused on product development and began selling its products in 2019, said Mr. Lesser. In the past year, the company added 50 new customers, including Walt Disney Co. , Omnicom Group Inc., Dentsu Inc.’s Merkle. AT&T Inc., where Mr. Lesser most recently served as CEO of ad unit Xandr, also a client and investor in InfoSum, which has raised about $90 million to date.
According to Mr. Lesser, the firm would utilize its newest investment to recruit additional engineers, sales, customer-relations, and operations personnel, as well as grow into new international markets. About 100 people work for the business.
Alexandra Bruell can be reached at [email protected]
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In a wide-ranging interview with “Canadian Business”, Jonathan Cheechoo, global chief executive officer of InfoSum Inc., shared his views on privacy and the corporate world. He believes that companies should be able to access customer data to compete on their own merits, and that the long-term benefits of customer data are not limited to business.. Read more about infosum crunchbase and let us know what you think.
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