Adjust, the industry leader in mobile measurement and fraud prevention, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the award-winning cyber security and AI startup Unbotify. The Tel Aviv-based technology startup has developed an exceptional solution that analyses human behaviour patterns within websites’ and mobile apps’ user-flows, to differentiate between bots and actual humans to prevent digital fraud activities.
The digital industry is facing an all-embracing global challenge – advertising fraud. According to the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), advertisers and brands will lose an estimated $50 billion as a result of ad fraud by 2025. One of the most problematic types of ad fraud are initiated by bots, which are able to fake human-like views, clicks and engagement KPIs on ad campaigns. Bot-based ad fraud can often stay under the radar for long periods of time and create huge volumes of fraudulent traffic.
Founded in 2015 by Yaron Oliker and Alon Dayan, Unbotify is known for its pioneering approach on bot detection and digital fraud prevention, and was named by Fast Company as ‘Israel’s most innovative company in 2017’ and listed as one of the Gartner’s ‘2018 Cool Vendors in Advertising’. The startup consists of a team of 25 data scientists, former IBM managers and machine learning specialists with P.h.D.s in Computer Science and Physics. Unbotify is working with Fortune 500 companies in E-commerce, Social, Search and Gaming across the U.S. and Europe.
“Adjust is the pioneer in mobile ad fraud prevention, and we are on a mission to bring more trust and transparency into the digital advertising industry. Combining the scale and experience of Adjust with the highly-skilled team and machine learning capabilities of Unbotify will propel Adjust’s flagship platform even further as the most robust Fraud Prevention Suite in the industry,” said Christian Henschel, Co-Founder and CEO of Adjust.
Unbotify’s detection technology uses machine learning (ML) and deep learning to analyse hundreds of features extracted from data on device orientation, touch events, pressure sensitivity among others to detect bots. It empowers marketers to determine fraudulent bot activities without obscuring any legitimate human traffic – ensuring that app publishers engage with actual human audiences.
“Fighting digital fraud is often referred to as a cat-and-mouse game, because fraudsters catch up so fast. That’s why we decided to not raise the bar just a little, but to look at the data points which are the hardest for them to fake – human behaviour, thus flipping the fundamental economics in favour of the defender,” said Yaron Oliker, Co-Founder and CEO at Unbotify. “Merging our real-time bot detection technology with Adjust’s highly advanced fraud filters will fortify Adjust’s position as the market leader in fraud prevention and put an end to the billions in ad fraud losses.”
The acquisition of Unbotify, comes shortly after the acquisition of Acquired.io, a multi-campaign management SaaS provider, which was announced last month, in December 2018. Unbotify is Adjust’s first acquisition in 2019. Adjust finances the acquisition through debt financing provided by TriplePoint Capital and plans further investments to fully integrate Unbotify’s technology into Adjust’s Fraud Prevention Suite.
The acquisitions and enhancements to Adjust’s flagship offering form a bigger part of the company’s commitment to offer the best-in-class product and vision to fight digital fraud on a global scale and improve advertisers’ marketing efforts. As the initiator of the Coalition Against Ad Fraud (CAAF) in 2017 – a concerted effort of industry leaders to mitigate the multi-billion dollar fraud market and its impact on advertisers’ ad budgets – this move is another step forward to create more transparency and trust for Adjust’s global, fast-growing client base.
Unbotify will continue to operate as an independent unit. Its office will remain in Tel Aviv and will be further expanded, increasing the team by 100% this year – extending Adjust’s global footprint to 15 offices worldwide. Since 2013, Adjust has more than doubled its revenues every two years, and grown to 300 employees while maintaining profitability.