Our team met at Google where we managed over 1,400 digital agencies across 4 countries & over $500 million of advertising annually.
What we do
When we left, we set about on a journey to make programmatic advertising better for the non big 6 agency groups, by making programmatic more transparent, fair, accessible and affordable. We wanted to remove the minimum ad spends, the high ad technology costs and provide agencies with the support & training they need. Throughout January 2018 we conducted a series of roadshows across the UK to agencies.
For those that don't know what programmatic is, it is the display ads you see on websites daily around 80% of them are served through programmatic tech using big data from credit reference agencies, credit card companies, shops and more to show the right ad to the right person.
During this period as we were rolling the technology out, we had a vision to improve the data that is used, to help fight ad fraud that costs the industry over $16 billion each year, to put users back in control of their personal data and so Data Choice was born.
Currently advertisers use programmatic technology to target people by age, gender, location fairly standard stuff which most people realise but we also target people by, their income, their house value, their mortgage level, their debts, the car they own, what they buy in shops and virtually anything else you can imagine.
Our vision is to allow you to regain some control of your personal data, to allow you to pick and choose the data that you share and what you would rather keep quiet.
Happy to tell us what you do for a living, what car you drive and where you want to go on holiday great, but you don't want us to know how big your mortgage is or how much debt you are in no problem.
We then want you to choose the ads that you see, not between Coke & Pepsi (this isn't the Pepsi challenge) but at a vertical level, happy to see ads for Clothing, Holidays, Entertainment and Automotive fantastic, but you don't want to see ads for Dating, Gambling & Alcohol, no problem.
Why share your data?
We then want to reward you for your data being used, the average reward value will vary depending on how much information you share but we estimate it to be between £6 - £7.70 ($8-$10) initially with extra available for further participation. As a user you could opt to take this as cash or swap it for other goods and service like Netflix membership in the future.
You will see ads wither you choose to use us or not, the difference by using us is you get some control back and you get rewarded for your data being used.
Why advertisers want this?
As we have mentioned $16 billion annually is lost to ad fraud a lot of this driven by fake data profiles from Bot farms. Our users have to pass a simple KYC (Know Your Customer) process, just enough for us to know they are real. This will help to significantly reduce ad fraud for our advertisers.
Additionally according to the head of marketing for ATT they did some testing and discovered that data directly supplied performs 10 better than third party data. So the advertisers campaigns will perform better.
Added to this that we don't have the legacy ad technology costs meaning that advertisers serve more ads for the same money means that they achieve a better return for their marketing investment.
Why agencies use us?
We provide agencies with access to our technology with no monthly fee & no minimum ad spend. We also provide them with support in winning programmatic clients and to train them in how to manage the campaigns going forward.
Our new platform is designed to be simple to use, with an intuitive interface.
Who are our clients?
From a user data perspective it's pretty much anyone and everyone.
However, from an actual business perspective we work with marketing agencies as their programmatic partner, we have over 40 agencies that use our existing tech which will be replaced by the new version, and end clients directly.
How do we make money?
The user data is sold on a cost per mille basis so a price per 1,000 impressions, we don't expect to make any money from this part for several years as we need to continually reinvest it into acquiring more user data.
Like most ad technology companies we make money from the adverts, we retain a percentage of the clients marketing spend through our technology.
Additionally with our backgrounds at Google we get approached by a lot of our direct clients to manage their PPC and paid social media activity, which we charge a management fee for.
How do we keep your data safe?
The simple answer to that is blockchain technology, once a users finishes sharing their data we place a cookie on their machine (this allows us to know that it's you), at this point your data is hashed into the data segments and pushed to our blockchain.
Why use blockchain?
By hashing your data into segments means that it isn't personally identifiable as an example lets say you are aged between 30 & 34 on the blockchain we might call this segment abc1235kng and underneath that will be a hashed reference number. So even if someone got through the nodes they wouldn't be able to read the information that is there and identify who it belongs to.
Additionally in the future when we allow other Demand Side Platforms to use the data we can overnight verify the token authenticity of the record and that it is still real and valid, giving the advertisers the confidence they need in the data.
Our system using our Data Choice DCT token also allows transparency in the network, where the transaction between the token and the data can be traced meaning that the advertisers knows exactly where their marketing spend has gone.
The money we raise from this campaign will allow us to finish building the new Data platform prototype and then to run the testing that is required across the UK & US. The testing allows us to make sure that the system is talking to the ad networks, publishers networks, and our demand side platform correctly and at the right speed.
- Top 20 in Europe
Earlier this year we were included in the StartUp Grind, Google for Entrepreneurs Top 20 in Europe, as part of this we will be attending their Global conference in Silicon Valley in February where we plan to roll out the new technology
- Finalise the prototype
This is a crucial step as once testing has been completed we can then finalise the larger investments from the VC's and hedge funds we are in discussions with.
Our prototype wont be pretty it will be functionable and capable of integration into our technology. The step from this stage to final product is usually fairly straightforward as it is minor changes and cosmetics that will be implemented.
- Accelerate our business development
We want to keep growing the agencies from our current 40+ agencies that use our technology ahead of the new versions being released early next year
- Grow our partnerships
Ahead of the completed solution launching early next year this raise will allow us to secure key partnerships with partner companies for user rewards and user partners where we can land our message with their communities in exchange for rewards that relate to them, an example of this might be some of the parenting groups where we will provide prospective parents with a suitable new parent pack with essentials they will need, or with the student organisations we may offer them free broadband or student railcards. We want to offer users more than money.
Some more on our background
Sean Worrell our co-founder and director prior to leading Google in 4 countries was a director at several global media organisations including Universal, Holimetrix, Discovery & MTV. Andrew Bruce come from the TV giant Sky and more recently from Google. The rest of our team were managers at Google prior to joining us on this journey.
Our advisors come from the media and educational backgrounds including Anindya Ghose lecturer at New York University, James Collins from the financial sectors & Ellie Edwards-Scott founder of a WPP agency. The team has been chosen to give us the backgrounds, network and experience needed to help reshape the industry.
Rewards & Share Certificates
To say thank you for your investment, we will send you a rewards package along with your share certificate. We aim to post these items to you within 28 days of your investment.
If you live outside the UK, please note that we may need to charge extra for international postage.
Investors will be contacted before rewards are sent out if a higher charge is needed to send to their address.
Examples of Rewards
Final rewards may vary slightly from these