Former Samsung Ads Tech Leadership and Founders of AdGear Close Seed Round for Optable, US$3.6M Raised To-Date

SaaS Data Connectivity Platform Uses Cryptography to Enable Decentralized, Secure Data Collaboration

Taking key learnings from creating solutions for the connected TV sector, former Samsung Ads tech leadership and co-founders of AdGear today announced a US$3.6M seed round for Optable, a SaaS data connectivity platform designed for the ad ecosystem.

Optable’s platform addresses the fundamental shift in how data is governed, connected, and used. It was founded to address the need for this new generation of privacy-preserving data connectivity software through the use of cryptographic technology.

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The round was led by Brightspark Ventures and included some of the top media and advertising angel investors: David Hahn, former CPO of Integral Ad Science (acquired by Vista Equity Partners), David Yaffe, founder and former CEO of Arbor (acquired by LiveRamp), Jim Payne, founder and former CEO of MoPub (acquired by Twitter), and Alex Blum, former Executive Chairman of Tru Optik (acquired by TransUnion).

The advertising ecosystem is undergoing a radical transformation in how audience data can be used as third-party cookies go away, mobile IDs experience an overhaul, and new privacy legislation emerges. This creates an immediate and pressing need for new solutions to enable advertisers, publishers, and the entire adtech ecosystem to safely and securely compare and leverage audience data.

“The disappearance of third-party cookies and other global identifiers will empower more companies than ever before to collect quality first-party data. The resulting fragmentation requires a new approach to data collaboration between partners,” said Yves Poiré, Optable co-founder and CEO. “Optable is bringing a privacy-centric, transparent solution to the market that will enable all participants in the ecosystem to collaborate and leverage their data under the safest conditions.”

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Optable uses cryptography to ensure data can be safely compared, matched, and activated. Because of this technology, it is the only solution in-market that offers a decentralized, “headless” approach, meaning an Optable user can securely receive audience matches from any partner, irrespective of whether they are using Optable’s solution. This significantly reduces complexity and friction, enabling all stakeholders — data companies, advertisers, publishers, etc. — to leverage its privacy-preserving technology, without having to share all of their first-party data with one another.

Optable’s co-founders — Yves Poiré, Bosko Milekic, and Vlad Stesin — are long-time collaborators. Optable is the third business they have founded together. Their last venture, AdGear, was acquired by Samsung Ads in 2016.

“The Optable team understands the media and advertising landscape better than anyone,” said Sophie Forest, Managing Partner at Brightspark Ventures. “Challenges the team has observed in the CTV space are increasingly seen in other environments. Fragmentation requires a new approach to data collaboration between partners. No other company is better equipped to bring this type of solution to market.”

“Everyone should be in control of their own data. There will be more walled gardens and a greater need to collaborate, and now we have better ways to do it while allowing companies to remain in control,” said Poiré.

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