In 2019, global ad spending is estimated to reach an approximated $50B, making it a prime target for unscrupulous behavior. As the adtech stack becomes more and more accessible to the masses, the risk of fraudulent activity increases as well. Confiant is the advertising security company that not only detects and but also actively blocks malicious ad activity. It’s the first of its kind to detect real-time malicious activity for advertisements, providing protection for desktop, mobile, and video ads. As the more ad dollars flow into the programmatic ecosystem, Confiant is ensuring that these dollars are being spent efficiently while protecting the reputation of the publishing industry.
AlleyWatch sat down with Confiant cofounder and CEO Louis-David (LD) Mangin to learn more about the company’s proprietary technology, future plans, and latest round of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
$4.1M Series A. This was Confiant’s first equity round and it was raised from a mix of new investors (Rubicon Venture Capital and River Bay Investments) and existing angels.
Confiant is an advertising security company born from the recognition that the world’s most sophisticated advertisers aren’t Verizon or P&G, but criminals using the industry for their own selfish ends. These criminals are hijacking programmatic advertising and giving publishers a bad name.
Confiant protects publishers’ and platforms’ reputations, revenue, and resources with always-on anti-malware software that provides protection for desktop, mobile, and video ads. Our sole focus is on helping advertising platforms and publishers rid the world of malware. This focus enables us to evolve quickly and meet our clients’ needs for defeating the bad actors trying to undermine the industry.
What inspired you to start Confiant?
Our CTO, my cofounder, Jerome Dangu was a subject matter expert who identified that the digital ad ecosystem was unable to safeguard itself with the then standards of technology. He convinced me it was a problem worth solving, and we set out to tackle it together.
How is Confiant different?
Confiant is the first company to come to market with a technology that not only detects malicious activity but actively blocks it. Prior to Confiant, no real time verification of creatives existed. Being the 1st mover puts us in the best position to continue innovating and raising the bar when it comes to how the industry protects users from these criminals. Our goal is to achieve maximum protection for the industry and its users.
What market does Confiant target and how big is it?
Global ad spend via programmatic is expected to hit $50B in 2019.
Publishers and their users need those ads to be safe and controlled, which means the industry needs an effective system to do so on a global scale. The criminals aren’t going away, and the industry is only now starting to take seriously the long-term threat the present to a digitally enabled ad world.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing adtech startups right now?
Lack of control (over what happens in their pipes), complex legal environment in regards to privacy (GDPR, CCPA, etc), price pressure from the marketplace and from the growing number of 800 lb Gorilla’s in the room (Google, FB, and now Amazon).
What’s your business model?
Software as a Service tied to the verification of individual impressions. I think of it sometimes as “Security as a Service” because our clients have to trust us in our delivery given the complexity involved.
What was the funding process like?
We learned a lot to make the next time around smoother!
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Questions about our TAM and how much of the ad market will need/want our solution.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Our amazing team, our vision. and our growth numbers.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Building the sales and marketing engine to complement our industry-leading product and technology teams.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Confiant’s made strategic use of venture debt during its growth, which allowed us to maintain our growth rates without giving up control.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
At the moment, Vic’s in Noho. Their scrambled egg on toast is divine, and the spicy fried chicken a notch above delicious.