Reduce Data is a programmatic advertising platform. Reduce Data helps advertisers buy media efficiently using programmatic means – machine learning, real-time data driven optimization and real-time bidding. Asif Ali is the founder of Reduce Data.Asif has over 15 years of technology experience. He previously ran ZestADZ, a mobile ad network (acquired by Komli in 2011). ZestADZ was a global mobile ad network with presence and advertisers in over 25 countries. Before that, Asif was the CTO / Co-founder of a wireless and enterprise startup – Threesixty Technologies Sdn Bhd, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. ThreeSixty maintained app stores on Carriers, built and rolled out mobile commerce solutions such as prepaid SMS topup solutions and had the top 2 telcos – Maxis, Celcom, Top banks – Public bank and Ministry of Education, Malaysia as its customers. The current team strength I s about 15 with 4 people in US, rest of the team is in India. The team is roughly 40% sales, 40% engineering and 20% operations.
Reduce Data is an early-stage company offering a programmatic advertising platform. They pivoted recently from being an analytics-focused company to a company that offers an integrated platform for media buying and analytics.
Asif says the idea came about in his last ad network, where he found advertisers unable to effectively measure and optimize ad campaigns across various networks. The scale and size of data that was being generated in advertising was huge and there were very few platforms addressing this scale to drive efficiencies. It is also estimated that nearly 30% of media spends are wasted. Reduce Data was started as an attempt to solve this problem.
Reduce Data is what is called as a Display Advertising Platform. Display Advertising Platforms typically focus on Banner Advertising as opposed to delivering text ads within search results (like the way Google does) – see understanding display advertising for a simple view of the display advertising platform and marketplace.
Any company that needs to buy advertising typically buys media from various platforms (this varies, depending upon their goals). Display advertising is one such kind of platform where media can be bought.
Let’s say if Flipkart wants to buy media to promote its new tablets-only store.
When a user visits a web page
This automated auction called Real-time Bidding (RTB). This entire process 1,2 and 3 happens in 1/10th of a second.
Reduce Data provides the best of programmatic and a measurement platform in a single platform to its customers (advertisers and ad agencies). The programmatic ad platform allows them to display ads for their clients on a large number of publishers’ sites, and for the most targeted set of audiences. The measurement platform allows their clients to analyze the impact of their campaigns and make the most efficient utilization of their ad budget. Such an integrated platform allows them to offer a low-cost, integrated solution to its customers.
Some of the features of the platform are:
Core of Reduce Data is a technology platform that participates in Real-Time Bidding as a Demand Side Platform(DSP). Given the fact that the real-time bidding protocol is run across these players for every visit to a site, the turnaround time from a DSP has very stringent requirements. Typically, an Ad exchange expects the response from a DSP within 100 milliseconds; including network latency (turnaround time includes time taken to process the bid request, and time taken for the message to travel from exchange to DSP and back). Hence there are 2 technology challenges they need to solve:
This is a highly competitive market and many of the features they offer are standard features offered by lots of players. A few features that differentiate them from rest of their competition are:
According to EMarketer’s latest forecast, RTB (Real-time bidding, the programmatic advertising) portion of digital display ad spending is steadily increasing, from 8% in 2011 to 19% in 2013, and projected to be around 29% in 2017 – $8.49 billion – a huge opportunity.
Reduce Data has a dedicated Sales team, and even though they have launched very recently, they see 15-16 leads a week, and all their current clients are paying ones. They expect to reach $2-3M revenue within next 12 months.
They need to build credibility in the market that is filled with competition. To ensure that brand gets built quickly, Asif has moved to US, and is focused on marketing Reduce Data. Through tech meetups, publishing whitepapers, speaking engagements, getting published in print media, and of course by delivering good value to his clients, he hopes to build Reduce Data into a credible player in this space.
They recently launched an India offering too. This is a smart move from them because this helps them to position themselves as a big player in this space which has presence in multiple countries. India being an important market, some exchanges like Facebook Ad Exchange, tend to give preference to companies that have India presence when they let DSPs connect.
Future releases of their platform are likely to focus extensively on improving algorithmic and data processing capabilities.
This is a highly competitive market. There are a large number of very well-known DSP in the market: Adroll, Dataxu, Mediamath, Turn, Google (InviteMedia), AppNexus, Komli Media, etc. Since all of them connect to same Ad exchanges (and hence have the same access to ad inventory) and offer similar functionality, it is hard to distinguish between them. Competition is based on pricing and ease-of-use. Such a crowded space with little differentiation will mean that prices will be squeezed and this will impact new players like Reduce Data.
If we do try, we can see 2 areas of competitive differentiation (other than pricing, of course!):
As the space evolves, vertical integration is a possibility – DSPs getting acquired by (or acquire) upstream or downstream players. Such a consolidation is more imminent as RTB grows at a rapid pace and become critical to display advertising.
Display Advertising is undergoing significant changes over last few years, with technology creating never-before opportunities for innovation as well as disruption. Demand-Side Platforms have the potential to make media buying and campaign management extremely effective and provide significant ROI to the advertisers. Reduce Data is in a very competitive space with large and well-known competitors. This industry will evolve along 3 dimensions:
One of the things going for Reduce Data is the credentials of its founder: Asif has deep experience in the advertising space from his prior company (which he sold to Komli). Another is the fact that they are an engineering driven organization and are focussed evolving the platform faster than the incumbents in the marketplace.
If they execute well on these dimensions and leverage their technology focus and industry connect, they have a real good chance of becoming a force in this fast-evolving space and carve out a name for themselves.
Tags: asif ali, Building Credibility, Display Advertising Platform, mrityunjay kumar, programmatic advertising platform, reduce data, Rich Media and Video Campaigns:, wireless and enterprise startup - Threesixty