Fake and fraudulent ad traffic is an infamous problem across the digital advertising space, with global losses from ad fraud totalling $35 billion in 2020 alone. Invalid traffic inflates advertising performance measurements, resulting in the misidentification of customers and inaccurate marketing insights. With digital advertising spending expected to reach $1 trillion by 2025, and with 36% of display ad clicks deemed fraudulent and invalid, the scale of wasted spend is projected to rise further, harming traffic acquisition efforts and resulting in poor advertising performance.
Manchester-based digital ad protection solution against fake users and malicious bots, Lunio has brought in $15 million in funding to offer clearer and more accurate insights to advertisers. The Series A round was led by Smedvig Capital and backed by senior leaders in the advertising-technology space from companies, including Google and Warner.
The funds raised will help the startup to accelerate the development of its technology while supporting further expansion into the EMEA and North American markets.
Founded in 2018, the company helps marketers maximise their advertising budgets by identifying and excluding fake, non-human, and zero-value traffic coming from different acquisition channels. By preventing fraud at the source through analysis of traffic and user behaviour patterns, Lunio gives advertisers clearer and more accurate insights that save money and improve campaign efficacy.
To help marketers defeat invalid web traffic and gain more control over their campaign budgets, Lunio uses a combination of data analysis and cybersecurity techniques to catch and block fake clicks at the source. The platform provides coverage for more than 15 ad networks including Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, Bing, Yandex, TikTok, and Snapchat, with support for non-paid and affiliate channels coming soon. By preventing activity from bots, unwanted traffic sources, fraud and malicious publishers, marketers can save money and reinvest it back into their top-performing ad campaigns.
Talking about the new round, Neil Andrew, CEO and co-founder of Lunio said: “To have raised the largest Series A round in the digital ad fraud space to date is a strong validation of the fraud prevention platform we have developed and its success. This funding allows us to open up significant opportunities for Lunio to gain market share and scale.”
Smedvig Capital Partner Joe Knowles added: “Lunio is quickly becoming a leading player in the business-critical digital ad fraud space. We were extremely impressed with the rapid growth the team has achieved and in particular the outstanding capital efficiency the business has displayed during this growth phase."