Permutive raises $75 million in SoftBank led round

dan@tech.eu

London’s Permutive has raised $75 million in a Series C round. The eight-year-old company specialises in providing publishers and advertisers an on-device solution that reaches end-users in a privacy-safe manner, all the while retaining their first-party data. The new round will allow the company to further develop its on-device technology and scale its Audience Platform. To date, Permutive has raised $105 million.

“If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product,” an adage that’s been around since the 1970’s when it alluded to television advertising, but has since been adopted by, and poularised by Tim O’Reilly. And the facts are facts: for over a decade personal data has been powering digital advertising. Like it or not, for better or for worse. Unfortunately, there’s been a whole lot of worse. Or at least that which has caught the attention of regulators and consumers.

It’s this attention that’s caused a massive tipping of the scales, particularly in the consumers’ direction. So what’s a publisher to do? They’re effectively put in between a rock and a hard place; advertising revenues have been the primary revenue maker since the dawn of media, and yet, now, targeted advertising is being tossed out the window. A catch-22 by any measurement.

And this is where Permutive steps in. Via its Audience Platform, publishers can deliver personalised ads without sacrificing their consented first-party data. In the burgeoning privacy-first infrastructure advertisers, on the other, are buying directly from publishers because they’ve always done so. However, without an infrastructure to support a transition to a publisher-owned privacy-first web, the industry will quickly find its scalability hands tied.

“Publishers are the foundation of the web, and the relationship they have with their users is the backbone of digital advertising,” says CEO and co-founder Joe Root. “As privacy shifts the economics of the internet towards this publisher-owned web, a privacy-first infrastructure will ensure this next iteration of digital advertising is immune to privacy chaos, will scale, and thrive.”

Permutive’s $75 million Series C round was provided by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and saw the participation of existing investors EQT Ventures, Octopus Ventures, and ACE & Company.

On the investment, SoftBank’s Max Ohrstrand commented, “To underpin a privacy-first web requires unique technology. As a leader in on-device technology, Permutive can bring a complicated landscape that’s being significantly disrupted into a privacy-safe future. The company’s technology is now running on over 1 billion devices a month globally, and we see tremendous opportunity for sustained growth as on-device processing reshapes adtech.”

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