After Upwave’s rapid growth in market research, leading investors and technology visionaries seize the opportunity to fuel Upwave’s exploding ad measurement business
SAN FRANCISCO — Upwave, the top technology-powered advertising measurement and market research company, today announced it has secured $14 million in Series B funding led by Conductive Ventures and joined by Industry Ventures. Previous investors Uncork Capital, PivotNorth, Ridge Ventures, Bloomberg Beta and Initialized Capital also contributed, with additional participation again from multiple marketing-technology visionaries. Building on Upwave’s success with its Market Research suite, Upwave plans to use the investment to continue building its Ad Measurement suite, which has seen fast growth in the past year.
“We have the privilege of investing in some of the most transformational marketing technology companies every year, so we have a high bar for partnering as an investor. In Upwave, we saw a compelling value prop for marketers, driven by powerful industry trends, with clear market adoption. And, of course, we need to be aligned with the leadership team’s vision and trust their capabilities,” said Carey Lai, founding member and managing director at Conductive Ventures. “Major change continues to affect the marketing and advertising landscape where brands are increasingly careful about their spending. This means the time is right for a modern measurement platform like Upwave to emerge. Only brands that can accurately measure their marketing impact will continue to thrive.”
While 2018 global advertising spending on all measured media is expected to rise 7.4 percent to $628.63 billion — with digital representing nearly half of that — the industry recently has experienced significant brand safety problems, technology disruptions and high-profile questions about audience accuracy, especially within programmatic.
In fact, many of the world’s biggest advertisers are reducing spends due to these problems, with some even cutting hundreds of millions out of their budgets. Under pressure to eliminate ineffective spending, brands and agencies are looking to technology to better measure, validate and adjust ad campaigns to not just deliver the desired results, but even simply ensure they are reaching the right people.
While Upwave gained wide attention and produced steady growth for its Market Research applications — amassing more than 2,300 customers in six years — large brands began inquiring about the Upwave Platform’s potential for ad measurement. Recognizing the industry lacked a tech-driven solution that delivered accurate ad-campaign insights in real-time, Upwave developed a full suite of admeasurement applications, with products for brand lift, audience validation and audience creation. In just over a year, Upwave Ad Measurement, which drives significantly higher revenue per deal, now has nearly 50 customers, including major brands like Microsoft and Clorox. In addition, Upwave Ad Measurement has tracked more than 45 billion ad impressions to date.
“We created Upwave to solve a simple yet extremely difficult problem: give brands and agencies faster and more accurate consumer and market insights. And, in a few years, we built a very successful, sustainable business,” said Chris Kelly, founder and CEO of Upwave. “However, when brands and agencies started using our platform to achieve the Holy Grail of brand advertising — measuring the branding impact of ad dollars in real-time — we knew the time was right to accelerate. This funding from such well-respected VCs and visionary leaders not only validates our vision and direction, it also allows us to fuel further and faster innovation on the Upwave platform.”
Upwave has attracted attention from many consumer platforms and leading players in data services and marketing technology, garnering more than 20 partnerships or technology integrations. Those include integrations with all of the top DMPs and certifications with many of the world’s largest media companies.
The distinguished group of marketing-technology leaders that also participated in Upwave’s Series B round included: SafeGraph CEO Auren Hoffman (former CEO of LiveRamp); Dan Beltramo, co-founder and former CEO of Nielsen acquisition Vizu; former CEO of Datalogix (Oracle acquisition) and current Oracle Data Cloud SVP/GM Eric Roza; Jonah Goodhart, co-founder and CEO of recent Oracle acquisition Moat; Tom Chavez, co-founder and CEO of Salesforce-owned Krux, Inc; and well-known angel investor and strategic communications guru Marcy Simon.
Carey Lai from Conductive Ventures will join Upwave’s board of directors.
Upwave is a fast-growing measurement technology company that provides advertising measurement and market research to the world’s leading brands and agencies. The Upwave platform provides the world’s fastest way to measure the branding impact of advertising, and measure the behaviors and opinions of consumers. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by leading Silicon Valley venture capital investors. Learn more at www.upwave.com.