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Smaato Pioneers Artificial Intelligence and Auto-Learning Mobile Ad Fraud Detection Engine, Protecting Advertisers and Publishers

Smaato’s engine blocks more than 30 percent of traffic heading to publisher apps to provide advertisers clean, brand-safe, viewable content, as well as the highest eCPMs for publishers

SAN FRANCISCO – July 21st, 2015Smaato, the largest independent, globally-focused mobile ad exchange, today announced a new fraud detection engine powered by artificial intelligence and auto-learning technology to lead the fight in cleaning up the digital advertising world. As a mobile real-time bidding (RTB) marketplace, Smaato allows publishers to integrate clean, high-quality mobile advertising to monetize apps. By preventing both click fraud and fraudulent/low-quality ads, Smaato’s engine creates a fraud-free marketplace to benefit marketers, publishers and app developers alike.

Traffic fraud and fraudulent advertising pose a huge threat to digital marketing’s overall growth. Fraudulent ads (e.g., undesirable banners for gambling or pornography, or ads that automatically redirect users to new pages upon loading) are devastating for publishers, resulting in a poor user experience and a negative reputation. Meanwhile, through click fraud, advertisers lose billions of dollars – $11 billion just last year – due to bot networks that drive fake impressions.

While other platforms use third-party partners to manage the quality of publisher inventory, Smaato has created its own industry-leading internal algorithm for fraud inspection as part of its Smaato Publisher Platform (SPX). This platform prevents against traffic fraud by ensuring that all advertisements are gaining true traffic and are viewed by real individuals by investigating the origin of the traffic, attributing patterns to the bot networks and flagging it as fraud. Smaato’s platform also rejects fraudulent ads, allowing publishers to maintain customer trust and maximize user engagement and revenue.

“Fraudulent advertising is a plague on the mobile advertising industry and as it grows at unprecedented levels, we challenge ourselves to ensure we only have genuine users and clean ads in our system,” said Ragnar Kruse, CEO of Smaato. “It’s crucial that all partners in the ecosystem continue to evolve and innovate around both ad quality and fraudulent traffic, instead of pushing it aside in the name of a short-term increase in business, which allows fraud to proliferate and affect the quality of our ecosystem overall.”

Smaato’s engine uses machine learning technology to analyze big data and extract fraud patterns. Its self-learning engine also detects new fraud patterns in real time, so it can stop new trends as they’re being created. The algorithm includes several inspections for these non-human patterns, along with an around-the-clock global team of personnel dedicated to filtering incoming publisher traffic.

To learn more about Smaato’s clean and safe solutions for publishers, please visit: www.smaato.com.

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Press Release Image: http://www.smaato.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/image072015.jpg

“Fraudulent advertising is a plague on the mobile advertising industry and as it grows at unprecedented levels, we challenge ourselves to ensure we only have genuine users and clean ads in our system,” said Ragnar Kruse, CEO of Smaato.


Press Releases


The Future of Programmatic Mobile Advertising:

Smaato CEO Ragnar Kruse Hosts Fireside Chat with Leaders from Microsoft and Dstillery at Internet Week NY

SAN FRANCISCO – May 18th, 2015Smaato, the largest independent mobile ad exchange that empowers mobile developers and publishers around the world to increase ad revenue, today announced that the company’s CEO, Ragnar Kruse, will be hosting a fireside chat with Microsoft and Dstillery (the leader in marketing technology that enables brands to reach the most relevant prospects) today, in coordination with Internet Week NY. Kruse will be joined by Sharon Harris, global sales strategy lead of Microsoft, and Lauren Moores, vice president of analytics of Dstillery.

Kruse founded Smaato as the first mobile Supply-Side Platform (SSP), and later built the platform out to become a real-time bidding (RTB) ad exchange. In January 2015, Smaato further revolutionized the global mobile programmatic world by launching the Smaato Publisher Platform (SPX), the first mobile-only publisher platform that allows publishers to put all of their advertising sources – RTB, ad networks, direct campaigns and proprietary partnerships – in competition with each other for each individual ad impression. This platform empowers publishers to maximize ROI for all their mobile properties beyond any mobile-first, mobile-only advertising technology previously available.

Today Smaato runs ads from over 10,000 advertisers, including 91 of AdAge’s Top 100 brands, across 80,000 publishers. The platform connects over 150 ad networks and 240 Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) and delivers a global reach of over 550 million unique user devices and 150 billion impressions per month.

Programmatic has quickly become the standard in mobile advertising. As a pioneer in this space, Kruse will shed light on programmatic advertising through a publisher-side and mobile-first lens. He will examine the profound effect advances in programmatic RTB has on maximizing ROI for publishers, as well as the importance of prioritizing a mobile-first strategy as the world nears 100 percent mobile penetration.

“Mobile developers and publishers work hard to create apps and mobile properties that engage users and connect them to their products,” said Kruse. “But these app developers don’t specialize in mobile advertising or monetization. That’s where we come in. Our platform allows mobile developers to focus on what they do best and rest assured that they’re maximizing revenue in the most advanced, quality-tested, clean environment without extra legwork.”

Internet Week is an annual event held in New York to discuss technology’s impact on business and culture. The presentation will take place on May 18th from 5-7pm at the State Grill and Bar on the ground floor of the Empire State building.

If you are attending Internet Week and would like to join the fireside, RSVP here. To learn more about Smaato’s solutions, please visit: www.smaato.com.

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Mobile developers and publishers work hard to create apps and mobile properties that engage users and connect them to their products,” said Ragnar Kruse, CEO, Smaato.


Indosat, member of Ooredoo Group, and Smaato launch mobile advertising exchange in Indonesia

Indonesia Mobile Exchange helps businesses improve online reach and provides customers with more targeted and personal mobile ads

Barcelona, Spain, (PRNewswire). – March 2, 2015 — Mobile World Congress — Indosat, member of Ooredoo Group, announced today at Mobile World Congress the launch of Indonesia Mobile Exchange (“IMX”), a joint venture digital mobile-first Real-Time Bidding (RTB) Advertising Exchange in partnership with Smaato, a leading global mobile RTB Ad Exchange. Indosat’s existing mobile advertising offering, i-klan, which currently sits within its Digital Services unit, will become part of the joint venture.

IMX’s digital mobile advertising exchange will facilitate a portal that enables both local and global advertisers to connect with leading publishers in Indonesia and provide targeted programmatic advertising to Indonesian consumers. Indonesia is one of the leading digital advertising markets in the world in terms of number of impressions with double digit growth forecast for the foreseeable future1.

“Digital advertising represents an important avenue of new business as we look for opportunities beyond our core services to support our customers’ digital lifestyles,” said Dr Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Ooredoo. “Currently 25% of our customers actively use mobile content services and Indosat’s partnership with a leading global player like Smaato helps us to build products and capabilities that better serve both business customers and consumers alike. As smartphone use across our footprint increases we intend to extend this approach to the other markets that we operate in.”

IMX will leverage Indosat’s reach in Indonesia through its 55 million mobile customers, Indosat’s business customers, and the global reach of Smaato’s mobile exchange technology through which it is already serving close to 5 billion impressions a month in Indonesia.

“Indonesia, with its large population and high advertising spend, is one of the most important markets for Smaato globally,” said Ragnar Kruse, Smaato’s founder and CEO. “I believe that a combination of our world-class platform and Indosat’s strong in-market reach will help us create effective digital advertising solutions for both local and international brands. It will not only help local online companies to control and maximize the value of their advertising inventories, but also significantly improve returns on investment in advertising.”

IMX will continue to be supported by Indosat’s Digital Services Unit, which also focuses, among other offerings, on mobile commerce and mobile payment solutions. Indosat’s Digital Services Unit is a key player in helping to build one of the world’s largest digital ecosystems in Indonesia. As such partnerships and investments through its start-up incubator and venture capital fund are expected to help IMX access further resources, partners and customers as it scales up in Indonesia.

“Indosat has been passionate about creating a strong digital services ecosystem in Indonesia for many years,” said Alexander Rusli, Indosat’s President Director & CEO. “Mobile advertising, mobile commerce and mobile payments are all critical components of this ecosystem as they revolutionize the way companies interact with consumers. With the Smaato partnership we can help connect smart and meaningful advertising to Indonesian consumers at a scalable size and with faster speed. This will help businesses improve their online reach and impact in a much more cost effective way while also providing customers with more targeted and personal content. We are excited about the opportunities ahead!”

1 eMarketer: Indonesia to Boast Double-Digit Ad Growth for Foreseeable Future – click here

Photo: click here

Source: Ooredoo

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“Indonesia, with its large population and high advertising spend, is one of the most important markets for Smaato globally,” said Ragnar Kruse, Smaato’s founder and CEO. “I believe that a combination of our world-class platform and Indosat’s strong in-market reach will help us create effective digital advertising solutions for both local and international brands. It will not only help local online companies to control and maximize the value of their advertising inventories, but also significantly improve returns on investment in advertising.”


Smaato Honored as “Startup and Innovation Award” Winner

Mobile-First Free Publisher Ad Server Featuring First Ever Dynamic Demand Technology

San Francisco, (BUSINESS WIRE). – January 23, 2015 – Smaato, the leading global mobile Real-Time Bidding (RTB) Ad Exchange (SMX) and Sell Side Platform, and the creator of the Smaato Publisher Platform (SPX), a free, full-featured publisher ad server, today announced its selection by the German American Business Association (GABA) as a “Startup and Innovation Award” winner. Smaato is a privately held company founded in 2005. Its global headquarters are in San Francisco, California, and its European office in Hamburg, Germany.

“We are honored to be chosen as one of the ‘Start Up and Innovation Award’ Winners”

GABA, an organization that helps connect German-American business professionals and fosters transatlantic relationships, will be presenting awards for the first time to two German startups that have had significant impact on German-American business. The winners will be honored at the GABA Gala 2015 being held today (Friday, January 23, 2015) at the City Club of San Francisco in the presence of the German Consul General Stefan Schlüter. The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to SAP Founder Prof. Dr. h.c.mult. Hasso Plattner.

“Smaato is an excellent example of how German companies can be successful in California with dedication, innovation and great German engineering,” said Caroline Raynaud, Executive Director of GABA.

“We are very proud of our successful combination of Silicon Valley Innovation, German Engineering and Global Vision that has made Smaato the Leading Global Mobile RTB Ad Exchange; we are honored that GABA recognized our work through this prestigious award,” said Ragnar Kruse, Co-Founder & CEO of Smaato.

“We are honored to be chosen as one of the ‘Start Up and Innovation Award’ Winners,” said Petra Vorsteher, Co-Founder and CAO of Smaato. “We value GABA’s platform and activities to promote transatlantic business for its members.”

Details about the GABA award and gala are available at: http://www.gabagala.org/awards.php

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“We are very proud of our successful combination of Silicon Valley Innovation, German Engineering and Global Vision that has made Smaato the Leading Global Mobile RTB Ad Exchange; we are honored that GABA recognized our work through this prestigious award,” said Ragnar Kruse, Chief Executive Officer, Smaato.


Smaato Announces SPX: The Smaato Publisher Platform

Mobile-First Free Publisher Ad Server Featuring First Ever Dynamic Demand Technology

San Francisco, Calif. – January 21, 2015 – Smaato, the leading global mobile Real-Time Bidding (RTB) Ad Exchange (SMX) and Sell Side Platform, announced the worldwide release of The Smaato Publisher Platform (SPX). SPX is a free, full-featured publisher ad server built from the ground up for a mobile-first world. The new platform enables app developers and digital publishers to immediately monetize their properties by delivering target consumers to advertisers, based on real-time data. SPX puts full monetization controls directly in the hands of the publisher and connects them to Smaato’s RTB ad exchange (SMX) and complete ad network mediation stack.

SPX manages all types of direct and indirect buying models and features groundbreaking Dynamic Demand delivery logic. With Dynamic Demand, SPX creates a ‘super auction’ where the best available demand source is evaluated in real time for every impression. Dynamic Demand considers all publisher direct sold/guaranteed campaigns, RTB demand, and ad network demand in order to maximize yield in real time on an impression-by-impression basis.

Ease of Use for Maximum Monetization

SPX features advanced targeting options, easy to use reporting, and a flexible, easy to understand user interface. The new platform is a complete solution for global mobile monetization, connecting publishers to almost 400 global demand sources. SPX gives publishers full pricing and targeting controls, a simple three-step set up process, and built-in optimization automation. And in a bold step for the industry, SPX charges no ad serving fees.

“Advertisers are thirsty for more relevant ways to engage with their consumers who are spending more than 50% of their Internet usage time on mobile devices,” said Ragnar Kruse, Chief Executive Officer, Smaato. “Mobile Application Developers and publishers seek to monetize their applications based on content, context and formats (video, rich-media, native etc.) while keeping control of user experience and content that made them successful in the first place. Smaato’s SPX platform allows for both, providing developers and publishers with the ability to automate advertising revenue and deliver targeted information about products and services that are relevant to their consumers and users.”

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“Advertisers are thirsty for more relevant ways to engage with their consumers who are spending more than 50% of their Internet usage time on mobile devices,” said Ragnar Kruse, Chief Executive Officer, Smaato.


Smaato Experiences 140% Growth in Mobile Programmatic Advertising With a Global Reach of 540 Million Unique Visitors Per Month in 2014

Diverse Publisher Inventory and Campaigns Optimized for Mobile Enable Audience Hyper-Targeting for Global Brands and Advertisers

San Francisco, (BUSINESS WIRE). – December 23, 2014 – Smaato, the leading global mobile Real-Time Bidding (RTB) ad exchange (SMX) and Sell Side Platform (SSP), announced significant growth in 2014. Smaato more than doubled its demand side partners (DSPs) to 340+ from 120 in 2013. Smaato’s SMX now connects more than 80,000 publisher partners, 110 Ad Networks, and 230 DSPs.

Across the US, EMEA and APAC regions, Smaato boasts 540 million monthly unique visitors and an average of 120 billion monthly ad impressions — up from 40+ billion monthly ad impressions in 2013. Furthermore, 91 of the top 100 Ad Age brands appear on SMX with Consumer Product Goods as the largest buyer category. As a result, Smaato is the largest global mobile RTB ad exchange.

Smaato’s growth was fueled by increased demand from big brands and advertisers leveraging Smaato’s independent mobile-first platform and SSP for a wide array of inventory. This diverse inventory allowed optimization of their campaigns by leveraging new technology in the mobile programmatic marketplace.

“Big brand advertisers are starting to see beyond the black hole of self-fulfilling, user-generated platforms like Facebook and Twitter (MoPub),” said Ragnar Kruse, Chief Executive Officer of Smaato. “Brands are finding ways to optimize their mobile campaigns with a broader and more diverse supply of inventory that Smaato can offer. Our growing number of publisher partners deliver the most relevant content and audiences. With this data advertisers can better hyper-target in the global mobile market.”

SMAATO KEY GROWTH DRIVERS – 2014:

Diverse Platforms Offer Broader Audience Inventory

Smaato’s owned and operated advertising technology was built for mobile first publishers and application developers. This year, Smaato invested heavily in a supply side-focused platform, branded SPX, which provides supply partners a free mobile ad server with access and controls to Smaato’s Real-Time Bidding exchange (SMX) and its entire mediation network. 2014 heralded the importance of this platform for publishers who needed an independent mobile ad-tech partner not focused on serving their own inventory.

According to Smaato’s Chief Business Officer, Ajitpal Pannu, “SPX allows publishers to manage all direct and indirect campaigns including RTB and mediation, leveraging Smaato’s own Dynamic Demand logic. Globally, larger audiences across 80,000 publishers and a wide selection of applications now provide brands and advertisers more options beyond Facebook and Twitter.”

Anonymous User Data Yielded Higher eCPM on Smaato Exchange (SMX)

Smaato’s accelerated growth was also a result of higher advertising rates commanded from anonymous user data (e.g. location, age and gender data). When this data was made available in a privacy-safe manner to bidding advertisers, it yielded significantly higher eCPMs and fill rates for publishers. Publishers on Smaato’s platform can build, control and offer first-party data segments, similar to what Facebook does. However, unlike Facebook, Smaato does not tap into the same, user-generated content.

Mobile Advertising Spending Follows Exponential Growth in Smartphones

Smaato’s growth continues to be fueled by the install base of smartphones in the global market where 1 billion devices are projected to be added each year for the next three to four years. Recent eMarketer and Gartner studies predict that global mobile ad spending is on pace to rise another 75% to $31.5 billion this year. Consumers now spend 32% more time on mobile than on desktop. Aligned with that growth, the Smaato RTB exchange has experienced 466% growth YOY in RTB and 140% growth in RTB spending, excluding Q4 numbers. Marketers and advertisers are taking heed of the capacity of mobile programmatic advertising’s impact. Big brands, particularly those in the CPG buyer category, have paid attention to this trend. From Q2 2014 onward, CPG has been the largest spend category of RTB advertisers on the SMX exchange, according to data from Smaato’s RTB Insights Report.

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“Brands are finding ways to optimize their mobile campaigns with a broader and more diverse supply of inventory that Smaato can offer. Our growing number of publisher partners deliver the most relevant content and audiences. With this data advertisers can better hyper-target in the global mobile market.”


Mobile is the New Desktop in Programmatic Advertising with Brands Driving the Spend, According to Smaato RTB Insights Report

Q3 2014 Ad Spend Accelerates in CPG and Automotive

San Francisco, Calif. – November 6, 2014 – Smaato, the leading global mobile Real-Time Bidding (RTB) ad exchange (SMX) and Supply Side Platform (SSP), today released its global mobile RTB Insights Report for Q3 2014. The report is an in-depth analysis of worldwide exchange data, auctions, bids and impressions across Smaato’s SMX platform, which is globally connected to 337+ Demand Partners (138+ Ad Networks and 199+ Demand Side Platforms and Trading Desks) and boasts 91 of the Top 100 Ad Age Brands bidding on Smaato’s ad exchange. Smaato’s Q3 Insights highlight the top global advertising regions and industry sectors, with indicators on the growing deployment of data in mobile advertising worldwide and the growth of mobile RTB spending, compared to this same time last year.

Smaato owns and operates the leading global mobile RTB ad exchange and SSP, which serves 100 billion+ ad impressions per month to 450M+ unique visitors in US, EMEA and APAC regions.

According to Smaato SMX data, mobile programmatic spending has seen phenomenal growth over the last year, with programmatic spend on SMX growing by over 140% from Q3 2013. Based on this growth and according to projections from eMarketer, mobile programmatic spending is projected to surpass desktop programmatic advertising spend next year.

Additional findings from Smaato’s quarterly RTB Insights Report include:

The Consumer Products and Goods (CPG) category continued to dominate with 22% of the advertising spend in Q3 2014 – this is in line with last quarter’s trend with CPG hitting 25% in Q2 2014.

However, Automotive –which previously didn’t make a blip on the SMX map– contributed to 6% of the advertising spend in Q3 2014, making it the upcoming publisher category to watch in the year to come with the highest jump in number of impressions this time around.

“Whether it’s CPG or Automotive, this many categories vying for the top spot serves as proof that brand spending on mobile RTB advertising is here to stay,” said Smaato CEO Ragnar Kruse.

Real-Time Bidding is Making Inroads in Emerging Markets

While the mature advertising markets of the US, Canada, and UK contribute to 72% of the total RTB advertising spend in Smaato’s SMX platform, the data in Smaato’s report shows that Real-Time Bidding adoption in mobile advertising is picking up pace in emerging markets. There has been a massive growth in both the number of RTB impressions and RTB advertising spend in countries including Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Thailand and Malaysia. In the Americas, Argentina at 991% saw the biggest increase in RTB impressions, as well as RTB spend at 4000%. In EMEA, Russia had the highest growth in RTB impressions at 1305%, while South Africa saw the biggest increase in spend at 472%. In APAC, Thailand saw the biggest increase in the number of RTB impressions at 313%, while Indonesia had the biggest increase in RTB spend at 1809%, further validating the advertiser’s need for first-party data in emerging mobile advertising markets.

Advertisers Value Anonymized User Data, not just 3rd-party Data

Most importantly, Smaato’s platform is a combination of an ad server, an RTB and exchange and an SSP. When app developers and mobile publishers provide user data like location, age, gender in a privacy-safe manner to bidding advertisers in SMX, the advertisers are willing to buy more impressions and pay more per impression, resulting in higher eCPMs and fill rates. The RTB Insights report reveals up to a 100% increase in eCPMs and fill rates when app developers pass first-party data and take control of building their own first-party segments of data in Smaato’s publisher platform, similar to what has been successful for Facebook as a publisher.

“Our Q3 data quantifies the trend in mobile ad spend soaring worldwide,” said Kruse. “The most successful advertisers are proving to be those who can harness and deploy ad spending data, whether it’s targeting certain categories or regions.”

During the 2014 ad:tech New York conference on November 6, 2014, Smaato will be presenting an analysis of RTB trends including those in this latest Insights report.

To download the full Smaato Q3 2014 RTB Insights Report, please visit: www.smaato.com/reports

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“Our Q3 data quantifies the trend in mobile ad spend soaring worldwide,” said Ragnar Kruse. “The most successful advertisers are proving to be those who can harness and deploy ad spending data, whether it’s targeting certain categories or regions.”


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Press Coverage


Adtech platform Smaato joins battle to automatically detect fake ad traffic

Posted by Barry Levine on July 21st, 2015 – VentureBeat

With traffic and ad fraud the bane of the digital ad industry, another ad platform is taking steps to fight back. Today, San Francisco-based Smaato announces the addition of an automated fraud detection engine to its publisher-oriented mobile ad platform, exchange, and server.

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A Publisher-Safe Ecosystem and Transparency Assures a Brand Against Fraudulent Traffic

Interview Exposed #20: Smaato: “A Publisher-Safe Ecosystem and Transparency Assures a Brand Against Fraudulent Traffic”

Posted by Johana Leeflang on July 24th, 2015 – AppLift

Welcome back to our Industry Exposed series! In this edition, we have an interview with Ragnar Kruse, the CEO and Co-Founder of Smaato, on how they are trying to consolidate the supply ecosystem through their ‘super auction’ model, as well as how markets like China will blow the US out of the water for smartphone penetration and app usage. Lastly, we also touch upon the strongest developments in the mobile programmatic ecosystem from RTB to IAB.

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Malcolm Wong

APAC Brands Struggling to Measure Mobile ROI

Posted by Eileen Yu on July 15th, 2015 – ExchangeWire

While keen to tap mobile devices to reach their audience, marketers in Asia-Pacific are still struggling to accurately measure the actual returns from their mobile campaigns. In this industry byliner, Smaato’s Asia-Pacific managing director Malcolm Wong discusses the challenges of addressing a deeply fragmented region and explains why first-party data is necessary for mobile campaigns.

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Ragnar Kruse

Singapore eyes greater focus on ad tech firms

Posted by Staff Writer on July 10th, 2015 – Marketing Interactive

As ad tech takes increasing precedence on a global scale, Singapore’s government investment bodies are actively luring global players. The investment arm of the Economic Development Board EDBI has said that it sees digital marketing as an area with high growth potential. “Our aim is to catalyse digital innovation, market growth and value creation in the transformation of Singapore industries as well as seed new growth industries,” said CEO & president of EDBI Chu Swee Yeok.

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Ajitpal Pannu

Smaato Promises Mobile Publishers More Control, More Money

Posted by Kelly Bilodeau on January 30th, 2015 – CMSWire

Smaato, a company that offers advertising tools for mobile publishers and developers, just launched the Smaato Publisher Platform (SPX), an ad server for mobile publishers. The San Francisco-based company claims it will help publishers and developers monetize their apps and maximize their mobile advertising fill rates and the effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPMs).

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