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Oracle acquires Grapeshot, a marketing tech startup that helps ensure ‘brand safety’

In the period of faux information and controversies over how manufacturers’ promoting — through programmatic platforms — unwittingly finally ends up alongside content material with which they’d relatively not be related, Oracle has made an acquisition to beef up its potential to assist prospects with these advertising challenges.

It has announced that it’s going to purchase Grapeshot, a startup out of Cambridge, England, that has developed a platform to assist guarantee “brand safety”, together with options to assist manufacturers, companies, publishers and advert platforms to match advertisements to extra particular placements total.

The startup will turn out to be part of the Oracle Data Cloud, Oracle stated, working particularly within the space of Audiences and Measurement, which already gives numerous different instruments to entrepreneurs, resembling information for customized segmented audiences.

The phrases of the deal haven’t been disclosed however we’re looking for out. According to Pitchbook, Grapeshot’s final post-money valuation was round $59 million (£42 million) in May of 2017. The firm has raised lower than $10 million from buyers that embody IQ Capital Partners and Albion.

Grapeshot, through its Contextual Intelligence Platform, says it really works with some 5,000 entrepreneurs globally, masking some 38 billion programmatic advert impressions. It’s been rising at a fee of over 100 p.c year-over-year, it says. It seems to be like it should proceed to work with current prospects, who will in flip turn out to be potential targets for the cross-selling of different Oracle providers.

The rise of Grapeshot and its acquisition by Oracle speaks to a rising problem within the space of adtech and corresponding advertising expertise: whereas programmatic promoting has largely turn out to be the norm throughout the net, there are some unintended penalties from all that automation.

For one, it’s tougher to particularly match advertisements to content material in each case — and this would possibly doubtlessly turn out to be much more tough with the rise of stronger information safety and elevated scrutiny on how are information is used for advert concentrating on. One of Grapeshot’s providers helps entrepreneurs resolve this with expertise that helps match advertisements not simply to fundamental websites, however to keywords on pages.

But within the worst-case situations, manufacturers are discovering their advertisements operating alongside content material that’s outright damaging to their pictures. In a latest scandal, advertisers had been forced to freeze some ads on YouTube after they had been discovered to be operating alongside movies of children with obscene feedback from viewers.

Ideally each for the manufacturers and YouTube, the advertisements would have by no means been there to start with — and that’s the sort of consequence that Grapeshot (and now Oracle) goes to be serving to obtain.

There are, after all, much more controls in place now to attempt to forestall conditions like this, and merchandise geared toward usually making it simpler to match advertisements to content material. Search big (and YouTube proprietor) Google, the world’s greatest internet marketing firm, earlier this 12 months launched a brand new AdSense product that makes use of machine studying to “read” content material on particular pages to grasp the context earlier than it serves an advert to it.

The attention-grabbing factor about Grapeshot is that it’s working a layer again earlier than this. By not being tied to any particular advert platform, Oracle has the potential to play a robust hand as an unbiased helper to prospects to realize the perfect outcomes.

Oracle has made numerous acquisitions to develop its digital advertising and promoting options enterprise, to faucet into the rise of social media and in addition to compete higher towards Salesforce. They have included Compendium, Moat, Involver, Vitrue, Netsuite, Market2Lead and lots of more.

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