Drawbridge is a Californian company founded by Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan. Prior to Drawbridge, Kamakshi worked as a machine learning expert and Lead Scientist at AdMob.
In 2010, Kamakshi left AdMob to set-up her own team and develop the premier solution to the issue of cross-device identity in advertising; this was the start of Drawbridge. Drawbridge is now backed by investment heavyweights Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, and Northgate Capital.
In order to maximise the potential of its technology, Drawbridge has built partnerships with ad exchanges, publishers and other data providers. This has enabled the Silicon Valley company to access and process billions of online interactions and requests on a global scale in order to infer links between separate requests. In other words, Drawbridge can analyse a user’s online activity to determine whether a series of devices are being used by the same user.
Drawbridge’s solution separates itself from the likes of Twitter or Google because it adopts a probabilistic approach rather than relying on the same email address being used to log into multiple devices. Although the model is based on statistical probability, in 2014 Nielsen found Drawbridge to be 97.3% precise in predicting device ownership.
Drawbridge touts its technology as a tool to help advertisers gain a better understanding of consumer purchasing behaviour. It is obvious why this technology is appealing to advertisers since it offers a level of cross-device visibility that was once impossible. For instance, Drawbridge claims it can help an advertiser determine whether a user recently targeted with an advertisement for household appliances on their tablet is the same individual later using a computer to purchase a fridge or a waffle-maker. This allows an advertiser who previously may not have known the full impact of a mobile advertisement campaign because of disconnect between tablet and computer to see the effect of the campaign on consumer spending habits. Brands can work with Drawbridge in a number of ways, for example by licensing the Drawbridge Connected Consumer Graph for cross-device data applications; handling cross-device ad campaigns in real-time using the Drawbridge Cross-Device Platform; or working with Drawbridge to implement cross-device campaigns.
However, Drawbridge is not satisfied with only being a flourishing ad tech company and is also looking to build a business outside of ad targeting and the advertising industry. Kamakshi and her team are looking to identify new areas and services which could benefit from the Drawbridge technology. To that effect the company recently raised $25 million in Series C funding, taking the total raised through funding to $45.5 million. Drawbridge is hoping to help non-advertising clients without access to an important source of user logins, à la Twitter or Google, collect and use data across devices. This data will and has enabled clients such as Groupon, Seatgeek, Foursquare and the Trade Desk to consolidate their customer-facing services with improvements from content personalisation to fraud detection.
In an interview with Fortune in June 2015, Kamakshi boldly stated her vision for Drawbridge’s future: “We want to be the universal currency for identity”. With an annualised run-rate of $100M in 2015, strong venture capitalist backing and a clear strategy for the future, this vision may one day become reality.