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Q3

2018

QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

IN THIS ISSUE

Company Summaries 2
Venture Capital Market Update 3
PVF1: Dstillery 4
PVF1: MediaMath 5
PVF2: Localytics 6
PVF2: Pixability 7
PVF2: Skyword 8
PVF2: Trust Metrics 9-10
PVF3: IRIS.TV 11
PVF3: LISNR 12-14
PVF3: Massive Interactive 15
PVF3: Tru Optik 16
Progress Ventures Portfolio Overview 17
Dear Friends,

We are pleased to provide you with an update on Progress Ventures for the third quarter of 2018.

Fund 1
Dstillery announced the launch of their new product “Dscover Maps”, a geospatial insights tool that provides a detailed view into
market composition by geography or location.

MediaMath raised another round of $225 million in funding, pushing the New-York based firm to over $500 million to date; With
a total current evaluation north of $1 billion.

Fund 2
Localytics was recognized as a market leader in Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for mobile marketing platforms.
Pixability CEO David George was interviewed on BEET.TV while attending the annual DMEXCO conference. George describes
the business, their “big six agency” clients, and the importance of international presence for the company.

Skyword recognized as a leader in content marketing software by reviewers with high levels of customer satisfaction and likeliness
to recommend in G2Crowd’s Grid Report.

Trust Metrics CEO Marc Goldberg comments on the brand safety issues that surround the platform Reddit, linking his expertise
as the voice of brands.

Fund 3
IRIS.TV announced the launch of a new AI content personalization engine, Video Recommendations, in partnership with IBM
Watson Media. ‘Video Recommendations’ is designed to help publishers boost viewer engagement through highly relevant video
programming recommendations.
LISNR Founder & CEO Rodney Williams was interviewed by CNBC for a deep dive into his personal journey of leaving his corporate
job to build a start-up, and the obstacles he overcame to make LISNR happen.

Massive Interactive announced the unveiling of its customisable Android TV Operator Tier Launcher at IBC2018. The ‘Operator
Tier Launcher’ allows operators to keep full control over the look and feel of the brand experience while delivering all the benefits
of Android TV to their customers.

Tru Optik announced their integration with the Triton Ad Server, ‘Tap’, to bring enhanced audience targeting, measurement, and
attribution to streaming radio and podcast advertising.

2
Venture Capital Market Update
Through 3Q2018 the U.S. Venture Capital Market has already hit its highest annual deal value in history, at $84.3B. According to
the latest Pitchbook-NVCA Venture Monitor, VCs have invested that capital in 6,583 deals already this year. The trend continues to
move towards more capital going into fewer deals, with over 378 $50M+ rounds, already surpassing 2017’s 292. With the trend in
the number of PE-backed buyouts in the technology sector, we maintain focus on early- to mid-stage technology startups as they
relate to our core interests in Media, Marketing, and Advertising technology. We have identified this innovation as critical to the
furtherment of the global economy as corporations become increasingly consumer-centric and organizations shift focus to building
efficiencies and personalization through Artificial Intelligence. Software & technology companies do not reach IPO with the same
frequency that they once did, but they continue to be bought-out by strategic competitors and PE firms, which often equates to a
shorter path to liquidity for venture investors. The investment in technology-driven solutions continues to yield returns through a
profusion of software demand, from both private equity and strategic entities, in the market.

Progress Ventures Update


While much of the venture world chases the same deals, driving up valuations and contributing to industry paradigms, Progress
Ventures differentiates by maintaining focus on investing specifically in advertising, marketing, and media technologies. The value
of this strategy has been evident in the first half of 2018, yielding an abundance of positive outcomes from our portfolio. In the
second half of this year, we are dedicated to the further institutionalization of Progress Ventures, and happy to announce the hire
of Adriaan Zur Muhlen as Venture Partner, and James Hamilton as a Venture Analyst.
Adriaan brings more than 20 years James is an entrepreneur, operator,
of private capital marketing investing and digital marketer. He has been
and fund management experience involved with early stage and
to Progress Ventures. Previously, he established ventures from a variety of
was a Partner at Glouston Capital angles throughout his career. James
Partners (fka Permal Capital), where was the President and Co-Founder of
he was a member of the Executive GuideHire, Inc. the marketplace for
Committee and co-managed the outdoor activities. After GuideHire,
Investment Team. Adriaan started his career in Brand he worked as General Manager for one of the company’s
Management at Procter & Gamble and subsequently worked vendors, a fly-fishing lodge in Andros, Bahamas. He is also a
in corporate development, as a growth strategist, and as partner at Ford Hamilton, a boutique digital agency working
an alternative asset investor. He has an MBA from Harvard with clients such as the MIT Sloan School of Business. He
Business School and a B.S. in Economics from Miami holds a B.S.B.A. from the College of Charleston.
University.

We welcome James and Adriaan to the team and look forward to the continued growth of the Progress Ventures team, and as always,
we thank you for your continued support in our firm and venture fund. Please reach out with any questions or comments.

Nick MacShane Sam Thompson Chris Legg Rick Gallagher


Founding Partner Founding Partner Managing Partner Managing Partner
nick@progressventures.com sam@progressventures.com chris@progressventures.com rick@progressventures.com

3
Dstillery (formerly Media6Degrees) is at the forefront of advertising technology, pioneering
new ways to create brand value for marketers by extracting signals from the complete
customer journey and activating them across all screens. The company is building on five
years of leading the data revolution in marketing to drive even greater impact for each of its
brands. They work with over 400 top-tier brands, and have been recognized as one of Forbes’
Top 100 Most Promising Companies in America and Crain’s Best Places to Work in New York.

For more information, visit: www.dstillery.com.

MICHAEL BEEBE
Dstillery Co-CEO

Dstillery’s new Dscover Maps bring cleans, normalizes and discards more than 70 percent of the
data as inaccurate or of poor quality. Dstillery then integrates
data visualization and location insights the location data into its hundreds of audience segments. The
to brands company also has built a proprietary device graph that maps
location data to households to allow online and offline targeting
By Greg Sterling in MarTech Today | September 24, 2018 or retargeting.
http://bit.ly/2Fz2lQy
All of this is done in an anonymous and privacy-compliant way,
Mobile has in many ways become the primary digital channel according to Lenz, who added, “We provide [a] better signal.
and location is the key to unlock the efficiency and versatility Our data is extremely clean and it’s not a black box.”
of mobile. Accordingly, Dstillery has added offline location data
and data visualization to offer “geospatial insights for brands.” In our wide-ranging conversation about the utility and quality of
location data, Lenz made an interesting point. He argued that
Earlier this week, the company announced “Dscover Maps” many brands are using location and geofencing improperly. For
or “DMaps” and spelled out a range of use cases for the data example, he said, many brands use a targeting radius that is too
behind them: large — within 10 to 20 miles of all their locations. He said that
• Planning better ad campaigns. creates a lot of inefficiency and waste.
• Conducting deeper competitor analysis.
• Scouting potential retail locations. One of the most interesting developments in this arena is the
• Engaging more relevant audiences for local political way location-derived audience and attribution data can be
campaigns. combined with traditional media such as direct mail, out-of-
• Performing smarter geographic market segmentation. home or TV to give them more precision and “accountability.”
Lenz discussed how marketers can use Dstillery’s location
Several other providers that predate Dstillery in the location data to determine where to target radio or direct mail buys
intelligence segment, such as GroundTruth, PlaceIQ and accordingly. DMaps data can also integrate with third-party
Placed, offer data visualization tools for similar purposes. media vendors for planning purposes and with brands’ own
When I asked what differentiated Dstillery’s product, Dscover first-party data as well.
Maps lead Peter Lenz told me the quality and volume of the
company’s data and its transparency. There’s no question about the power of location intelligence
and its growing array of use cases. The challenge here is
Lenz explained that there are billions of real-world data points figuring out how to evaluate the various claims being made in
associated with device IDs that the company receives. It then this increasingly dynamic but crowded segment.

4
MediaMath’s technology and services help brands and their agencies drive business
outcomes through programmatic marketing. We believe that good advertising is customer-
centric, delivering relevant and meaningful marketing experiences across channels, formats
and devices. Powered by advanced machine learning algorithms that buy, optimize and
report in real time, our platform gives sophisticated marketers access to first-, second- and
third-party data and trillions of digital impressions across every media channel. Clients are
supported by solutions and services experts that make it simple to activate our technology.
Since launching the first Demand Side Platform (DSP) in 2007, MediaMath has grown to a global
company of nearly 700 employees in 15 locations in every region of the world. MediaMath’s
clients include all major holding companies and operating agencies as well as leading brands
across top verticals. In 2017, MediaMath was recognized by Forrester as a Leader in the Data
Management Platform category, and as the Leader in the Demand Side Platform category.
For more information, visit: www.mediamath.com.

JOE ZAWADZKI
MediaMath CEO

Ad-Tech Company MediaMath Raises Mr. Zawadzki said MediaMath has grown every year for the
past 11 years and now the marketing industry is looking for a
$225 Million “reevaluation of the next set of capabilities that need to get
invented and implemented.”
By Lara O’Reilly in The Wall Street Journal | August 10, 2018
https://on.wsj.com/2FsFCWe
The ad tech sector is going through a period of upheaval in a
digital advertising market dominated by Alphabet Inc.’s Google
Ad-tech company MediaMath has raised $225 million from
and Facebook Inc. Digital-ad companies are also grappling
investment firm Searchlight Capital Partners, an unusually large
with Europe’s sweeping new data legislation, the General Data
funding round in a sector rife with turbulence and consolidation.
Protection Regulation, which came into effect in May.

New York-based MediaMath has raised more than $500 million


Consolidation is afoot in the sector. Last month, AT&T, said it was
to date. The latest round values the company at north of $1
acquiring AppNexus, one of the biggest independent players
billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.
in the space, for about $1.6 billion, and private-equity firm Vista
Equity Partners said it was acquiring a majority stake in Integral
MediaMath operates a demand-side platform, or DSP —
Ad Science, an ad-measurement company.
technology that lets advertisers and their agencies buy online
ads using automated systems — and a data-management
In total, there were 77 mergers and acquisitions in the ad-tech,
platform, or DMP, which lets advertisers store and analyze their
marketing-tech and digital content sectors in the U.S. in the
data.
second quarter of 2018, according to investment bank LUMA
Partners.
Some of the new funds will be directed toward buying out one
of MediaMath’s investors, Safeguard Scientifics, the publicly-
Searchlight Capital Partners’ other current investments include
traded technology investment company that said in January
cloud-computing provider Rackspace, in-store background
it would stop investing in new companies amid a cost-cutting
music and in-venue music platform Octave Group and
drive.
Hemisphere Media Group, a U.S. broadcast and cable TV
company aimed at the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets.
MediaMath Chief Executive Joe Zawadzki said the company
would also use the funding on acquisitions and to accelerate its
Darren Glatt, partner at Searchlight Capital, said the company has
development of technology in areas including identity, artificial
“no predetermined time frame” for an exit and that MediaMath
intelligence, connected-television and digital out-of-home
was attractive because “scaled DSPs with strong DMPs are the
advertising.
true winners [in the ad-tech] ecosystem,” Mr. Glatt added.

5
Localytics is the leading mobile engagement platform. We give companies the insights and
tools they need to improve their mobile app acquisition, engagement and retention efforts.
Our secret sauce is in the data. We use all the data surrounding users to deliver highly
targeted and personalized engagement campaigns, including push and in-app messages.
We then use performance data to measure and optimize those efforts toward the metrics
that drive businesses forward. Our platform is used in more than 37,000 apps on more
than 2.7 billion devices by companies such as ESPN, Fox and The New York Times. We are
headquartered in Boston, MA with offices in San Francisco and London. Investors include
Sapphire Ventures, Foundation Capital and Polaris Partners.
For more information, visit: www.localytics.com.

JUDE MCCOLGAN
Localytics CEO

Localytics Named a Leader in customer references’ most frequently cited reasons for investing
in a mobile marketing platform. Advanced analytics capabilities
Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for
are emerging as a key point of differentiation. As marketers seek
Mobile Marketing Platforms
to meet customer demands for real-time mobile engagements,
marketing data and analytics are driving platform vendor value
MTS Staff Writer in MarTech Series | August 25, 2018
and client satisfaction — much of which is dependent on service,
http://bit.ly/2TrZ2gU
support and integration.”

Localytics, the leading mobile engagement platform, announced


“We believe being recognized as a Leader in Mobile Marketing
it has been named a Leader in Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant
Platforms is a testament to both our strong position in the
for Mobile Marketing Platforms. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant
market and strong relationships with our customers,” said
evaluates vendors within a particular market segment based
Jude McColgan, CEO of Localytics. “Engaging consumers in a
on their completeness of vision and their ability to execute.
meaningful, personalized way on mobile is a big challenge for
many enterprises. Localytics brings a unique combination of
According to the Gartner report, Leaders “possess the
mobile expertise, technology, marketing cloud integrations and
resources and acumen to deliver extensive mobile marketing
services that help our customers gain more insight about their
capabilities guided by a clear, comprehensive view of mobile
mobile users and leverage those insights across every touchpoint
marketing’s crucial role as the dominant engagement point for
with users.”
customers and prospects. Leaders have executed a substantial
number of implementations across a variety of industries. They
This news comes on the heels of Localytics’ recent announcement
push their customers toward more advanced states of mobile
of its new Campaign Builder, Workflows, designed to help
marketing capabilities. Leaders are equally successful in B2B
enterprises deliver a unique experience to each of their mobile
and B2C marketing scenarios.”
users and build strong connective tissue between mobile and
digital by factoring in user behavior across channels. The company
According to the report, “Mobile interactions now play a
also recently introduced Data Privacy services to help enterprises
dominant role across customer journeys, with mobile marketing
strike the right balance between providing the personalized
platforms enabling marketing leaders to optimize engagements
mobile experiences that consumers want and ensuring consumer
at any touchpoint.” The report further states, “Improving
data is protected.
customer experience and driving revenue growth are among
6
Pixability is a video advertising technology company that helps media professionals deliver
outstanding campaign performance across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and
Snapchat. Pixability’s solution empowers advertisers to activate video at every stage in
the consumer journey in order to deliver impactful business results. Pixability provides
sophisticated targeting, automated media execution, and verifiable viewability and
placements across premium video platforms. Pixability is headquartered in Boston with
offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and London.
For more information, visit: www.pixability.com.

DAVID GEORGE
Pixability CEO

Pixability Expands Overseas And Into Earlier this month, Pixability released a tool for automating

Advanced Television analyses of what specific video iterations are working or not. The
system uses machine learning to evaluate the different versions

By Steve Ellwanger on Beet.TV | September 24, 2018 of the uploaded ads while measuring their performance, context

http://bit.ly/2OOD58l
and audience against the client’s KPIs, as MediaPost reports.

Pixability has built its business providing video advertising Part of the reason for Pixability’s presence at DMEXCO is its

software across the walled gardens of the biggest social media expansion to international markets. In addition to Boston,

platforms. Now it’s eying the over-the-top and connected-TV Chicago, New York and San Francisco, the company has an

space as well, armed with a new offering that automates data office in London.

analysis around video creative.


While video consumption and advertising “is growing

“A lot of folks refer to us as the trade desk for walled gardens,” exponentially,” says George, what’s really exciting is what’s

says Pixability CEO David George. “The next evolution for us is going on in OTT. I myself recently cut the cord. It’s a liberating

into OTT or CTV.” experience.”

Pixability’s clients include the “big six agencies” plus smaller This interview is part of a series titled Advertising Reimagined:

independents and some brands as well, George explains in this The View from DMEXCO 2018, presented by Criteo. Please find

interview with Beet.TV at the annual DMEXCO conference. more videos from the series here.

The big six “tend to look at YouTube and Facebook in different


groups where the independents and brands they really get
value around our ability to do cross platform. We provide a lot
of efficiencies and scale in that environment because we can
move ads and budgets around to different platforms.”

7
Skyword liberates brands from ineffective marketing practices and inspires them to
create deeper connections with their audiences. The Skyword Platform makes it easy to
produce, optimize, manage and promote content at any scale to create meaningful, lasting
relationships. Skyword also provides access to a community of thousands of freelance
writers and videographers, an editorial team and program managers who help move clients’
content marketing programs to new levels of creative excellence. Skyword is a privately held
company headquartered in Boston, Mass. The company’s technology center is located in
Pittsburgh, Pa. Investors include Cox Media Group, Allen & Company, Progress Ventures and
American Public Media Group.
For more information, visit: www.skyword.com.

TOM GERACE
Skyword CEO

Skyword360 named a Leader in the in the personas and stages where marketing can drive the

Grid Report for Content Marketing greatest return. Enterprises can then create unique customer

Software by Reviewers on G2 Crowd experiences for those stages, moving the customer forward
through the purchase cycle driving accurate, measurable

Skyword Press Release | September 19, 2018 results.”

http://bit.ly/2S2rt3u
Skyword360 achieved a position as Leader on the Grid Report

Skyword360 has been identified as one of the best Content for Content Marketing Software by receiving positive reviews,

Marketing Software Platforms, based on its high levels of from verified users compared to similar products in the Content

customer satisfaction and likeliness to recommend ratings from Marketing Software category. For inclusion in the report a

reviews on G2 Crowd, the world’s leading business solutions product must have received ten or more reviews.

review website.
“Rankings on G2 Crowd reports are based on data provided to

“Too often, marketers build strategies for their team in a slide us by real users,” said Michael Fauscette, chief research officer,

deck presentation, email the presentation internally, and then G2 Crowd. “We are excited to share the achievements of the

pray that it’s implemented,” said Tom Gerace, CEO of Skyword. products ranked on our site because they represent the voice

“We believe that strong customer reviews of Skyword360 of the user and offer terrific insights to potential buyers around

are based on the results that our customers are achieving the world.”

in knocking down silos and implementing a content-centric


approach to creating and differentiating their brands and
creating exceptional customer experiences. The days of
crossing your fingers and merely hoping hours spent planning
will be successful are behind us. Having a documented strategy
that lives in Skyword360 that directly links to an operating plan
that is executed on the platform now allows marketers to map
the entire customer journey, and make specific investments

8
Trust Metrics is a neutral information services company that serves as the digital measurement
standard for publisher transparency, effectiveness, and quality. Built specifically for the benefit
of advertisers, Trust Metrics provides standardized or customized ratings and reviews of any
site or page. These ratings are designed for easy application in any ad ops process; direct,
through a network, or in RTB. To generate the ratings, Trust Metrics utilizes a wide range of
proprietary technology to collect, store and apply its unique database of features to ensure
that ads appear in relevant, appropriate and effective environments.

For more information, visit: www.trustmetrics.com.

MARC GOLDBERG
Trust Metrics CEO

Reddit says ‘brand safety isn’t an issue Jandali’s “first pitch” when he joined Reddit in 2015 was to

our customers have’ but ad buyers Coke, which at the time refused to advertise on the platform

aren’t so sure over misplacement concerns. However, the soda giant has
since come to run several campaigns on the site since that initial

By Rebecca Stewart in The Drum | July 5, 2018 rebuttal.

http://bit.ly/2PE0hLM
Reddit is fresh from a redesign implemented to make the

Reddit is on a crusade to capture advertisers’ budgets, but first experience better for users and advertisers alike.

of all it has to convince them that the self-proclaimed ‘front page


of the internet’ is a brand-safe environment. Over the past few years it has also “rewritten” its advertising
offering; allowing brands to pay for promoted posts (which

The platform’s vice-president of brand partnerships, Zubair include its popular ‘Ask Me Anything’ threads, or AMAs),

Jandali, suggested Reddit doesn’t have a misplacement programmatic space and native video ads, along with access to

problem, so much as a perception one. its 80-person partnerships team or its small but growing strong
internal creative agency.

“Brand safety is not a concern that any one of our customers


has,” the ex-Google exec told The Drum. “We think of brand safety as being inexorably linked to relevance
and because we have context in every community we are just

“It’s always prior to any interaction with us that [advertisers] very deliberate about where we are targeting a campaign,”

express that as something they care about, but once they’ve explained Jandali.

worked with us for the first time their full attention is on the
opportunity, not the perceived risk.” To do this, Reddit operates an “opt-in” system, where – along with
the brands paying for the space – it signs off which subreddits

It has slowly been winning big budget brand around, including (the site’s member-founded-and-moderated communities) ads

Coca-Cola, P&G and Audi. should appear on or adjacent to.

9
Jandali was explicit that the ad eligible part of Reddit is “a Female Corpses’, ‘Fat People Hate’ and most recently anti-
hand-curated, human reviewed network” that is effectively a women group ‘Incels’.
subsection of the main site. Reddit comprises 1.2 million active
communities covering everything from cosmetics to gardening, But in spite of this, it’s clear the bounds of propriety still remain
cars to gaming and 130,000 of these communities are hobby- fairly wide: for instance in the ‘Pussy Pass Denied’ subreddit,
based. misogyny often bubbles to the surface under the guise of
highlighting gender inequality; while over in Trump-centric
As Reddit tries to further scale its ad business and woo brands community ‘The Donald’ users have been accused of directly
with access to a potential 330 million users, however, the issue participating in the organizing of events like the Charlottesville,
is getting clients to overcome the prospect of that “risk” Jandali Virginia, white supremacist rally. Recently, it’s chief executive
speaks of. Steve Huffman said racism was allowed on the platform.

Instead, the company wants them to see the value in its For now, there’s no ad space available on the aforementioned
“unduplicated” reach. According to ComScore 81% of Reddit’s subreddits, but whether brands want to attach themselves to
US users aren’t on Instagram and 51% don’t have a Twitter a platform that doesn’t actively remove this type of content is
account. another issue altogether. Continued...

With the shadow of YouTube’s brand safety crisis – where ads Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/2PE0hLM
for Cornflakes had the potential to be served adjacent to Isis
recruitment videos – still looming large over the industry, Marc
Goldberg, chief executive of brand safety planning firm Trust
Metrics, said most brands still see UGC buys as a gamble.

“If you believe Reddit is 100% brand safe, then you haven’t been
on Reddit,” he suggested.

When it comes to courting ad dollars, Reddit’s perception issue


lies in the fact that it has been a bastion of free speech since its
conception – something that’s made it attractive to some users
but maybe not so much to advertisers.

For all their missteps, Facebook, YouTube and even Twitter are
certainly more active at policing content that Reddit, with the
site’s admins having been famously been reluctant to remove
offensive content unless it harassed individuals or was illegal.

Like its rivals, Reddit too faces the issue of whether to play
editor or leave damaging content to fester.

In 2015 and at the end of 2017 moderators did purge some


of the platform’s more toxic subreddits including ‘Nazi’, ‘Cute
10
IRIS.TV is a cloud-based personalized video programming platform that allows publishers
and content owners to generate more video views and engage users across all devices. The
company’s product suite is designed to increase video consumption and simplify operations
for web, mobile, and OTT video distribution. The IRIS.TV Video Programming Platform
integrates with existing video players using artificial intelligence and adaptive machine
learning to automate streaming of personalized content based on audience preferences,
user interaction, and behavioral segmentation. IRIS.TV has hundreds of customers across
the world that rely on the company’s video programming platform to keep their audiences
watching. Based in Los Angeles, IRIS TV’s investors include Sierra Wasatch, BDMI, Progress
Ventures and individual backers including Machinima founder Allen DeBevoise, Lionsgate
CFO James Barge as well as senior executives from Nielsen and Ziprecruiter.
For more information, visit: www.iris.tv.

FIELD GARTHWAITE
IRIS.TV CEO & Co-Founder

IBM Watson Media & IRIS.TV Come competitive edge in the industry and earn viewer loyalty.

Together for AI-Powered Video “Media companies today are going through an unprecedented
Recommendations period of disruption and consolidation. TV subscribers are
declining, consumers are moving their viewing to digital outlets,
By The MTA News Desk | September 12, 2018 and both technology and social media companies are capturing
http://bit.ly/2qY8TOG the lion’s share of traditional advertising dollars through new
channels,” said Richie Hyden, COO & Co-Founder of IRIS.TV.
New York: IBM Watson Media and IRIS.TV, a cloud-based “To cut through the noise, content providers must be able to
personalized video programming system, today announced engage audiences with exceptional content. Our new combined
the launch of Video Recommendations, a new AI content offering with IBM Watson Media extracts value from video to
personalization engine designed to help publishers boost enhance suggestions and drive the bottom line for our clients.”
viewer engagement through highly relevant video programming
recommendations. By combining viewer data with a deep IBM Watson Media runs audio and visual analysis on a client’s
understanding of specific elements within video, publishers video library to increase and improve metadata. IRIS.TV then
are better able to predict and deliver captivating content— utilizes the metadata to predict viewing patterns and create a
increasing consumption growth, building audience loyalty, and continuous learning system that can understand which videos
driving advertising revenue. have the highest probability of being viewed to completion. This
means that content owners can better match video programming
Video content is being produced rapidly, and although digital and brand advertisements to specific viewers, creating a highly
advertising spend is projected to reach 130 billion dollars by personalized experience that will retain audiences across
2021, publishers still struggle to monetize their content. With platforms.
the AI-powered Video Recommendations engine, IBM Watson
Media surfaces contextually relevant content to viewers, which “Consumers are constantly inundated with news, challenging
can help enhance engagement and profitability. The new publishers to promote targeted content that will keep viewers
offering extracts rich metadata from video content and combines engaged with their media properties,” said David Mowrey, Head
it with consumer viewing patterns designed to provide better of Product and Business Development for Watson Media. “Our
suggestions that boost session duration, decrease bounce rates Video Recommendations offering is a vital asset for publishers,
and drive advertising revenue. IBM Watson Media clients remain that can help them deliver personalized suggestions to viewers,
the sole owner of their data, empowering them to maintain a
driving engagement and maximizing advertising revenue.”

11
LISNR® is the new standard for device connectivity using sound as the leading global
provider of data-over-audio technology. LISNR®’s proprietary data-over-audio protocol is
being used across the connected world to power over 30 million devices and counting.
Founded in 2012, LISNR®’s near-ultrasonic protocol sends data over audio — enabling
proximity engagement, seamless and secure methods of authentication, and device-to-
device data transmission for automation and connectivity.

For more information, visit: www.lisnr.com.

RODNEY WILLIAMS
LISNR CEO & Founder

This 34-year-old went from a six-figure I launched brands on social. I led e-commerce. I led a lot of the
corporate salary to $100,000 in debt digital activities.”
running his start-up — here’s what he
learned Being on the corporate track was stable. And Williams was
excelling.
By Catherine Clifford in CNBC | July 5, 2018
https://cnb.cx/2Kmcrmq
“It was extremely comfortable to work at P&G. You know, I had a
savings plan. I had a salary. I had a process. I knew when I had
Rodney Williams left a cushy corporate gig with a six-figure a performance review. I knew when I got promoted — there was
salary to build a start-up that sunk him six figures in debt. Now, a track, right? And I just could just coast — drive my BMW, live a
that business, Lisnr, has raised millions of dollars in funding, has great life,” he says.
almost 40 employees and counts the likes of the NFL’s Dallas
Cowboys and NBC as clients. Except he was uninspired. And Williams couldn’t stomach that.

The journey taught Williams, 34, a lot about success. “I was bored at P&G. I was absolutely bored. And I kind of don’t
understand being bored — doing the same thing over and over,”
In 2010, Williams was working in the marketing department for Williams tells CNBC Make It.
consumer product giant Procter & Gamble selling Pampers
online. He had graduated from West Virginia University in So after almost four years at P&G, he took on a new challenge.
2006 and had gotten his MBA at Howard University in 2009, He launched a technology company.
according to his LinkedIn account. From there, Williams was a
financial analyst at Lockheed Martin until he landed the job he In March 2012, while he was still working his corporate job,
didn’t know he was looking for at P&G. Williams co-founded Lisnr, a start-up that created proprietary
software to improve the connectivity between electronic
“I wasn’t actually looking for a marketing job. I was actually devices with speakers or a microphone — anything from
looking for a finance job,” Williams tells CNBC Make It about phones to laptops to smart speakers to smart refrigerators to
how he ended up hawking diapers in Cincinnati. “But [Procter & cars. Lisnr’s software sends data over near ultrasonic (inaudible)
Gamble] felt that I had an opportunity be a great marketer and sound waves instead of via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It also eliminates
to lead the thinking from a digital aspect. When I got there, I the need for hardware like antenna or transmitters.
focused on what I did well, which is technology. I wrote patents.
12
That gives Lisnr’s brand of data transmission great flexibility. For “I pretty much told any smart person that I came across,” says
example, it can be used to validate a ticket at an event or to Williams.
send all the attendees of a sports game or concert notifications
at the same time without being connected to the internet. Encouragement from friends is one thing, but getting effusive
“When LeBron [James] would come outside and make a dunk, encouragement from people he didn’t know was really what
you would get a LeBron card on your phone,” says Williams, inspired Williams. “If a stranger actually acknowledges that
referring to the NBA star. something that you’re doing has potential, I think you need to
go out and do it. And that’s what I kept hearing and that’s what
It can also be used for mobile payments, in place of QR code kept me going,” he says.
systems, and for access — Lisnr technology can get you into a
building or your car with just your phone, Williams tells CNBC In August 2012, Williams left P&G to work full-time on Lisnr and
Make It. The technology can validate your identity by transmitting the first version of the product launched in March 2013.
via sound the credentials typically held within a digital key.
Lisnr raised $850,000 in seed funding in the summer of 2013
“We use that sound bandwidth as at tunnel to transmit data,” according to public fundraising database Crunchbase, but it
explains Williams. “The invention was applying it in that barely carried the company to its next round of funding. At the
bandwidth, applying the algorithms that we created and end of 2013, facing a cash shortfall, Williams started paying the
applying the software — coming out with a commercial product.” salaries of his 12-member team with savings he had collected
from his time working at P&G. At the time, he says, he was
Williams had the initial vision for the technology for Lisnr, but he paying north of $30,000 a month in payroll.
wasn’t working alone. Williams met co-founder Chris Ostoich
at P&G. Then, in the March 2012, they took the idea for Lisnr “As a start-up, as a technology company, as an entrepreneur
to The Startup Bus — a competition where entrepreneurs are … there comes a point in time where the success that you
challenged to develop a business idea during a 72-hour road know is coming is delayed. And sometimes that delay is a
trip. That’s where they met third co-founder Josh Glick. monetary delay. And at the end of 2013, getting into 2014, we
had a monetary delay,” Williams tells CNBC Make It. “I knew that
The Startup Bus was going from Cincinnati to Austin, Texas, we had revenue coming in; I knew that we were going to hit
culminating at the South by Southwest tech and entertainment milestones, that were going to make this company extremely
festival there. The presentation at SXSW at the end of the attractive to series A investors. But I knew there was a three- to
competition was good early exposure for Lisnr: “When we got four-month gap.”
off the stage, we got handed a card from Pepsi, we got handed
a card from Disney,” says Williams, referring to the business So Williams stepped up.
people assembled to watch the start-ups pitch. “And an investor
took us out that night for dinner and that investor became “I kind of stayed home that Christmas [2013]. And I emptied
[Lisnr’s] first investor.” the bank account. And I emptied the credit cards. And I just
think it’s one of those tales that all entrepreneurs and founders
The co-founders’ first team member, Williams Knauer, was also have, where you’re going to go out and believe in this project or
critical to the invention phase of the product, according to company so wholeheartedly that you should risk it all,” he says.
Williams.
Both Williams and Glick did not take a salary during that time
The group had an early hunch they were onto something big with (Ostoich was not yet full time) and Williams’ co-founders paid for
Lisnr — Williams said everyone he told about the idea became other business expenses. “It was a team effort,” Williams says.
excited. Williams would talk to business people, investors,
engineers, technology enthusiasts, co-workers — anyone who As for whether paying the salaries put him in debt? “Definitely.
might have reason to be interested in the technology. Definitely I was in debt. I was in debt. I had depleted my savings,
I depleted my — I didn’t pay myself: I was behind on my bills, I

13
maxed out every credit card that I could,” says Williams. He was innovation around this technology,” Williams tells CNBC Make It.
“close to 100,000” dollars in debt, he says.
Williams says having competition from the likes of Google is
“And yeah, you know, you took a risk,” he says. “It could have good for Lisnr. “When we didn’t have competitors, it was very
ended up really, really bad, right?” hard to sell this technology. It was very hard. Competitors are
good. It validates the market, it validates the product and it
But Williams had a reason to be hopeful. “I do also remember validates the premise. We appreciate it,” he says.
in those three to four months we actually closed over a half a
million dollars worth of contracts, so I knew we were going to In his journey from cushy corporate life to the uncertainty of
get funded. The business was still growing,” says Williams. It’s start-up life, Williams says he learned to enjoy discomfort. He
typical that a big client pays 90 days after a product is delivered, had to.
says Williams. “I think all founders, all entrepreneurs go through
that. ... That’s just a part of believing in something that no one “If you asked me, ‘Do you enjoy discomfort?’ 10 years ago, I
else does.” would have a different answer,” says Williams. Launching your
own company is a whole new level of risk.
Then, in April 2014, Lisnr raised a $3.5 million series A funding
round that allowed the co-founders to stop paying expenses “Now, how I’ve gotten to where I am today, [which] is starting
out of their personal savings and to pay themselves back. to embrace the things I don’t know, starting to embrace the
challenges within failure, starting to embrace the discomfort of
Prior to the Series A raise, Lisnr was primarily being used as that,” Williams says.
a marketing tool in the music and entertainment space. The
series A funding allowed Lisnr to begin to build the technology “Discomfort is not having that [career] track, not having that
for other applications. Also, Lisnr went through the advertising promise [of certainty, security, answers], not having that fallback.
agency R/GA’s accelerator program powered by Techstars from So when you think about a start up and doing something on
October 2014 to February 2015, which helped the company your own, there isn’t like a safety net that you drop on. If your
develop, says Williams. idea is unsuccessful, your safety net is yourself. That’s the first
discomfort.”
Today, Lisnr has just shy of 40 employees across two offices,
with management in Oakland, California, and engineering in Plus, when you are running a start-up, you are, ideally, running a
Cincinnati. The tech start-up has raised $18.9 million so far. company at a scale, which may be a new experience.

Though Lisnr declines to share revenue or profit data, “Every decision is uncomfortable: Is it the right decision? Is that
customers include NBC, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s entertainment the thing that I’m supposed to do? Am I learning enough? And
company ROC Nation, the Dallas Cowboys, Sony Music, Jaguar/ I think these are just things that, as you’re leading a company,
Land Rover, Ticketmaster and the multinational software and you need to be comfortable in that discomfort.
services corporation Amdocs. Lisnr also has partnerships with
Visa, Synchrony Financial, chipset maker DSP Group and Intel, “It allows you to learn better though, it allows you to learn faster,”
Williams tells CNBC Make It. if you are able to really lean into that discomfort, says the CEO.

Google has a similar data-transfer-over audio product, Google At this point in his journey, Williams says he actually enjoys
Nearby, but Williams says Lisnr is much faster. (Google Nearby being uncomfortable. “I love it. I am so obsessed with … being
transmits data at 66 bits per second where Lisnr transmits data uncomfortable.”
at 1,000 bits per second, he says. Google did not respond to a
request for comment.)

“We invented this solution and market. We are also leading the

14
Massive Interactive provides premium multi-platform user interfaces and server-side
integration environments. Its premium offering, Massive AXIS, is a scalable multiscreen
application management and user interface configuration platform that delivers feature
rich video applications to growing mobile, game console, SmartTV, tablet, desktop and
responsive web audiences across the globe. Its tools curate and configure video application
content and presentation across the widest available range of devices, enabling our
customers to optimize their multiscreen video offering continuously and seamlessly once
launched at a decreased cost.

For more information, visit: www.massive.co.

RON DOWNEY
Massive Interactive CEO

Massive to Unveil Android TV for different types of sports fan during the event.

Launcher at IBC 2018


“This year has shown that Android TV is a staple in every

By MTS Staff Writer in MarTech Series | September 7, 2018 operator’s arsenal for the next generation set-top box. We’ve

http://bit.ly/2BnbbwH
used our heritage in UI and personalisation with companies
such as AT&T, the BBC and Telecine to feed into our Launcher,

Massive, the specialist UX vendor for the OTT industry, will be helping operators go to market with Android TV much quicker

unveiling its customisable Android TV Operator Tier Launcher than they could with standard STB middleware,” said Ron

at IBC. The move follows demand from its customers around Downey, CEO at Massive.

the world to bring Android TV into their multi-platform device


suite. Massive’s Launcher saw a commercial soft launch during Massive is currently in advanced talks with several APAC and

the 2018 World Cup with a major APAC telco, and will be widely European operators to roll out its Android TV Operator Tier

available to telcos and pay-TV operators following IBC. Launcher in the coming months.

Massive’s Operator Tier Launcher lets operators deliver all the Massive will be demoing its Android TV operator tier launcher,

benefits of Android TV to their customers while keeping full and the latest evolution of its AXIS user experience and content

control over the look and feel of the brand experience. This delivery platform, at IBC in Hall 14, Stand F06.

includes being able to redesign the UX on the fly, introduce


new content layouts for different subscribers, and prioritise the
operator-owned content over third-party video assets.

Underpinned by Massive AXIS, a powerful targeted UX


platform, operators can also roll out advanced features such as
subscriber segmentation and tailored UI personalisation. This
was a key focus of the World Cup soft launch, with Massive’s
Launcher used by the operator to deliver tailored experiences

15
Tru Optik is a digital media intelligence company providing audience insight and advertising

solutions that empower brand marketers and media companies to fully monetize audience

and consumer demand. Armed with the largest census-level measurement of global over-the-

top media consumption, Tru Optik’s proprietary data, advanced technology, and unmatched

focus make us the preferred partner of many of the world’s largest media companies, brands,

and agencies as they navigate the millennial led shift to OTT.

For more information, visit: www.truoptik.com.

ANDRE SWANSTON
Tru Optik CEO

Triton Digital Integrates with Tru goers, globetrotters, big box shoppers, tech enthusiasts, and
more will be actionable for leading broadcasters, podcasters,
Optik to Bring Enhanced Targeting,
and streaming music services across desktop, mobile, smart
Measurement, and Attribution
speakers and other internet connected devices. This enhanced
to Streaming Audio and Podcast targeting will enable audio publishers to increase both the value
Advertising of their audio inventory, and the return on investment for their
advertisers.
Tru Optik Press Release | August 7, 2018
http://bit.ly/2QdsFni
“As pioneers of audio advertising solutions, we remain
committed to the continuous advancement of our technology,
NEW YORK--Triton Digital®, the global technology and services
and to providing our clients with solutions that make leveraging
leader to the digital audio industry, announced today the
the power of digital audio both simple and effective,” said John
integration of the Triton Ad Server, Tap, with Tru Optik, the
Rosso, President, Market Development at Triton Digital. “We are
audience intelligence and data-management platform at the
pleased to be integrated with Tru Optik, and to expose their
forefront of addressable Over-the-Top (OTT) and Connected
audiences in Tap for the benefit of our streaming and podcast
TV (CTV), to bring enhanced audience targeting, measurement,
publishers, as well as their advertisers.”
and attribution to streaming radio and podcast advertising.

“With the rise of smart speakers and other connected devices,


With more than 73 million Americans listening to podcasts
advertisers cannot rely on device IDs or cookies alone to ensure
monthly and broadcast radio accounting for 17 of the top 20
they are connecting with the right audiences,” said Andre
audio streaming services, there is an increased demand for
Swanston, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Tru Optik.
advanced targeting across streaming audio. Through this
“Tru Optik’s data management platform and household graph
partnership, audio publishers that use Triton Digital’s Tap ad
have led the way in solving the targeting and measurement
server will have the ability to leverage a custom Streaming
challenges across the Over-the-Top TV ecosystem. We look
Audio Data Marketplace to facilitate audience targeting
forward to partnering with Triton Digital to empower brands
across more than 75 million households in the U.S. Audience
and publishers with the precise audience insights needed to
segments include demographic, behavioral, and purchase
more effectively reach millions of streaming audio and podcast
data from leading third-party vendors. Categories such as avid
listeners.”
gamers, sports fanatics, auto enthusiasts, fine diners, concert
16
PROGRESS VENTURES INVESTMENTS

FUND I | Seed investments in Ad-tech Ecosystem Pioneers (2008-2010)

CLOSURE ACQUIRED

ACQUIRED

FUND II | Seed/Series A investments in next-gen Digital Ad Ecosystem (2010-2014)

ACQUIRED

ACQUIRED

FUND III | Series A investments in Emerging Digital Marketing Technologies (2014-2017)

ACQUIRED

17
PROGRESS VENTURES
50 Milk Street, 16th Floor
Boston, MA 02109

Empire State Building, 62nd Floor


New York, NY 10118

www.progressventures.com