The digital advertising market is strong. According to Statista, worldwide spending will reach $900 billion by 2026. In 2020 alone, global losses from ad fraud reached $35 billion. And beyond wasted spend, invalid traffic can inflate metrics, causing brands to misidentify — and misunderstand — customer segments.
To combat ad fraud, Neil Andrews and Alex Winston co-founded Lunion, which analyzes behavioral patterns and tries to avoid fake web traffic from different channels. The startup today announced the closing of a $15 million Series A round led by London and Smedvig Capital, bringing Lunio’s total funding to $17 million.
“Back in 2016, we were running a digital marketing agency in the UK and working closely with their main client Segev Hochberg,” Andrew told TechCrunch in an email interview. “They noticed the same problem around that time. Worthless clicks from fake users were eating up Segev’s marketing budget every month. And the ad networks weren’t really rushing to address the problem, because there was no real incentive to do so. So Neil, Segev and I founded Lunion and other marketers from bad To help sources capture and block clicks, we’re reinvesting the savings directly back into high-quality ad campaigns.
Lunio says it uses a combination of data analytics and cybersecurity techniques to catch and block fake clicks, along with algorithms that run on the client side — inside the user’s browser — to ensure no personally identifiable information is sent across the web. (While ad interaction IP addresses are stored and provided to users, they are not combined with any other personally identifiable information, Andrew says.) The algorithms try to predict invalid click activity in different regions. Ad networks including Google, YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram and TikTok.
“There’s a huge opportunity cost to driving down a distracted sales process due to the false lead form that follows from fake clicks. Sales reps can waste hours chasing leads that don’t really exist,” said Andrew.It’s not just about getting a refund on spam clicks – even if you can. Knocking fake traffic to your website will stop all results.
Andrew The outbreak has been good for Lunio because it has led to an increase in fake user activity as brands and their customers move online. Meanwhile, the economic downturn has increased the pressure on companies to stretch their ad dollars, Andrew says — another windfall for the startup.
According to Andrew, Lunio has more than 1,000 customers covering more than 10,000 private advertising accounts. Opting not to share revenue figures, Lunio plans to expand from 43 employees to around 55 by the end of Q1 2023 to “accelerate” its go-to-market efforts in Europe and North America.
We feel very isolated from the challenges many companies face. We have implemented strong operational and investment discipline based on proven business cases to guide our future direction,” continued Andrew. “We operate at a high level of leverage and expect this to continue relatively as we expand the business.”