comScore, a company that tracks and analyses the quality of Web traffic, yesterday announced the acquisition of MdotLabs, a startup that helps digital advertisers identify ad-fraud from non-human traffic. Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, it is believed that the whole MdotLabs team, including the co-founders Timur Yarnall and Dr. Paul Bardford, will join comScore.

MdotLabs has seen rapid growth since the company’s inception 14 months ago. The company raised $1.25 million in November last year from Chicago Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, and various other angel investors, and grew to 12 employees before the comScore purchase.

“It did move quite quickly,” said MdotLabs co-founder Paul Barford. “When we founded the company last June, we were reaching out to prospective customers and really were sort of taking them through an education process about the issue and the severity and the impact on the brands who are paying the bills. And then, really sort of last fall, the community really began to recognize and embrace the issue.”

“We felt it was a great DNA match between the two companies and that joining forces with them was going to be a way that we could really accelerate the objectives that we had, both from the perspective of the company in general and the technology in particular,” Barford said.

The acquisition comes after a series of efforts from companies to prevent fraudulent clicks – Google, for example, announced the acquisition of anti-fraud firms Spider.io and Adometry earlier this year. Non-human traffic – which includes bots, click farms, and other methods — is a growing problem for marketers since it often increases advertising costs and creates fraudulent clicks. As ZDNet report, non-human traffic can account for more than 50 percent of a digital ad campaign.

Commenting on the news, comScore’s President and CEO, Serge Matta, said,

“We are excited to welcome the MdotLabs team to comScore. The outstanding team of engineers and data scientists at MdotLabs has been at the forefront of developing the highly sophisticated techniques for identifying and rooting out the waste associated with non-human traffic, which can often run in excess of 50 percent on a given campaign.”

“We believe that the combination of Mdot’s technology with our existing NHT detection methods will deliver a significant advancement in addressing this important issue, providing even greater transparency and more accurate metrics around campaign performance.”

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(Image Credit: Marc Smith)

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