Jessica Goodfellow
Dec 2, 2019

Tech Bites: Week of December 2, 2019

Ogury, Collab Asia, Google, SpotX, Pubmatic and more, in our weekly collection of tech and media news.

Tech Bites: Week of December 2, 2019

Ogury raises US$50 million to support international expansion

Mobile adtech firm Ogury has raised US$50 million in funding which it will use to accelerate its product innovation and customer growth across its new and existing offices in APAC, Europe and the US. 

Ogury opened offices in Germany and Mexico at the beginning of the year, and opened offices in Amsterdam and Singapore in September. The Singapore office is led by former Integral Ad Science SEA managing director Niall Hogan. Globally it has between 250-500 employees, according to Crunchbase.

Ogury cofounders Thomas Pasquet and Jean Canzoneri

The funding was provided by Idinvest Partners and various banks. The new capital raise brings its total funding to $92 million.

Collab Asia to expand Asia presence with fresh investment

Digital media company Collab Asia, which runs an influencer network and entertainment studio, has raised US$7.5 million in Series B funding to expand its presence in Asia.

The funding round was led by Korea-based Gorilla Private Equity, and included Samsung Ventures, PKSHA SPARX Algorithm Fund L.P. in Japan, Ncore Ventures in Korea, and Silicon Valley-based Altos Ventures, which also participated in the US$3 million Series A funding round in 2017.

The company has existing offices in Seoul, Tokyo, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Manila, and most recently opened a Singapore office in September that will serve as its regional hub for Southeast Asia, and will service advertisers across APAC.

Collab Asia founders Eugene Choi (left) and Allen Lee

Collab Asia currently manages over 1,800 YouTube channels in key Asian markets across gaming, beauty, music, lifestyle, animation, comedy and other formats. The channels have a combined subscriber base of over 155 million subscribers, generating over 2.5 billion monthly views on YouTube.

It will use the new funds to create localised content for Asia and focus on helping creators and content companies produce, distribute, monetise, and build audiences across multiple digital platforms. 

Collab Asia was incubated as a division of Los Angeles-based Collab Inc before separately incorporating in 2017.

Google faces another EU data probe

European Union antitrust regulators are investigating the way in which Google collects data on its users, the European Commission told Reuters on Saturday (November 30).

The Commission has sent out questionnaires as part of a "preliminary investigation into Google's practices relating to Google's collection and use of data", the EU regulator told Reuters in an email.

It appears to be focusing on data related to local search services, online advertising, online ad targeting services, login services, web browsers and others, according to a document seen by Reuters.

Last week, US adtech firm Inform filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google claiming it has been "effectively put out of business" as a direct result of the search giant's alleged anticompetitive practices.

Meanwhile the US Department of Justice has launched a broad antitrust probe into the practices of the four major global tech companies (Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple).

SpotX strikes four partnerships in Philippines

Adtech firm SpotX has struck partnerships with three local OTT platforms and one news publisher in the Philippines as it rapidly expands its TV inventory in Asia.

The business will act as the exclusive ad server and supply-side platform (SSP) of Cignal Play, the OTT platform owned by Filipino broadcaster Cignal TV, which has 2.2 million subscribers.

Cignal VP of digital innovation JC Medina said: "SpotX’s ad server and SSP will help us secure more brand advertising dollars, maximize our revenue, and deliver a premium ad experience for our viewers."

SpotX will also act as the SSP of OTT platform iWant — building upon an existing relationship with ABS-CBN — along with FIlipino broadcaster GMA and online news publisher Rappler. It builds on the adtech firm's existing relationships with regional OTT platforms Iflix, Hooq, and Viu.

Tech platforms scoop majority of in-app spend in Japan

In-app spending accounts for 28% of overall digital ad budgets in Japan, yet while 50% of media buyers say that they buy in-app ads on Facebook, Twitter, Line and Google, only 16% use a DSP to buy in-app ads programmatically, according to a survey by adtech player Pubmatic.

The survey also found that media buyers tend to focus on cost performance metrics for in-app campaigns—with CPA (56%), CPC (34%) and CPI (32%) being the most popular—concerning since these metrics are the most open to fraud

At the same time, around half of respondents cited brand safety (51%) and ad fraud (48%) as the highest concerns preventing media buyers buying in-app ads programmatically.

The survey is drawn from responses from 100 media buyers (brand advertisers, advertising agencies and trading desks) who purchase in-app advertisements in Japan, between September to October 2019.

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