EDO Closes $12 Million Series A Financing Led By Breyer Capital
The Upstart Data, Measurement and Analytics Company, Which Already Counts Major TV Networks, Movie Studios and Other Media Leaders Among Clients Who Rely on Its Measurement of TV Advertising Efficacy, Is Coming out of Stealth Mode and Expanding Its Real-Time EKG for TV Ads to All National Brand Advertising Categories
EDO hits the accelerator in its mission to challenge the limitations of historical TV measurement with the closing of $12 million in Series A funding led by Jim Breyer of Breyer Capital. The company focuses on delivering innovative and accurate insights into the effectiveness of TV ads in driving the types of consumer engagement most closely tied to purchase activity. By measuring each national linear TV ad airing’s granular impact on consumer intent and amassing a database of over 47 million precisely measured TV ad airings over the past 3.5+ years, EDO offers marketers real-time clarity about their TV campaign’s creative and media performance as well as competitive intelligence.
The new capital will enable EDO to scale up its national sales and analytical coverage, technical talent and new product development, with a focus on building new data sets to reveal actual consumer intent across live and non-live TV ads. Currently, EDO works closely with a roster of top companies in media and TV advertising, including ESPN, Turner, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., Lionsgate and Paramount, giving marketers the predictive confidence to make critical decisions about planning and optimizing their TV buys and advertising sellers a syndicated set of engagement metrics, reporting tools and APIs for advanced advertising platforms.
EDO’s Founding Story
Founded in 2015 by Daniel Nadler and Edward Norton, EDO got its start after Norton met Nadler and invested in Nadler’s first company, Kensho Technologies, which he had started while getting his Ph.D. at Harvard. Building machine learning systems for the US Intelligence Community and large financial institutions, Kensho quickly attracted the six largest global banks as investors and clients before S&P Global purchased it earlier this year for over $700 million, the highest price ever paid for an AI company. Meanwhile, Norton had founded and sold his own company, CrowdRise, in 2017 to GoFundMe, which is now the largest social fundraising platform in the world, processing over $2B of charitable donations annually. Norton and Nadler are also both artists (Norton is a celebrated actor and filmmaker and Nadler is an award-winning poet) and they became close friends and collaborators.
Norton convinced Nadler that there was an opportunity to apply advanced data science and machine learning in the media and advertising space and bring unprecedented sophistication to the measurement of advertising efficacy in ways that incumbent measurement players lacked the technological capabilities to address.
They recruited an initial team of top engineers and data scientists from Nadler’s Harvard network and media veterans from Nielsen and NBCU, including EDO’s CEO Kevin Krim, the former head of CNBC Digital, who had earlier driven Comcast’s investment in Kensho.
Norton says, “EDO’s special capabilities as a company flow from our ability to leverage veteran media and advertising expertise alongside technology and data science talent that, quite frankly, traditional media and advertising measurement companies could never hire. When you take a guy like Kevin Krim with two decades of experience navigating the dynamics of advertising pricing metrics across the NY media and Silicon Valley technology landscapes, and team him up with some of the smartest and most sought after engineers and data scientists of their generation, you can move very quickly beyond what the industry incumbents are offering.”
CEO Kevin Krim adds, “There’s been innovative work done on digital advertising analytics by a number of terrific companies, but the open secret is that half of all brand advertising spend is on television while TV measurement metrics are moribund and everyone is fed up. Our clients are hungry for high-grade actionable insights into how much engagement — true consumer intent — is being delivered for the dollars spent. Measuring how much ‘exposure’ is being delivered just doesn’t cut it anymore, and social and other weak proxies of engagement have not proven to have strong correlation to economic outcomes. Advertising buyers and sellers alike want a credible, rigorous, predictive signal that shows them how their ads and media inventory are driving toward results along the way — a real-time EKG for TV ads — and that’s what we’re giving them.”
For over two decades, Jim was a Managing Partner at Accel and was President and CEO of Accel Management. His legendary reputation as a venture capitalist in technology and media was of great interest to EDO. According to Nadler, who has known Breyer since he invested in Kensho, “Jim was the first investor Edward and I wanted to engage when we started EDO. There’s nobody we’d rather have leading our financing at this stage. Not because of our past collaboration, but because he has a unique track record of successfully identifying companies disrupting legacy industries via application of advanced data analytics, among them DataLogix, Kensho, Legendary and Brightcove. He’s also one of the only serious technology experts who is also a successful and deeply embedded investor in media companies. The validation of Jim’s belief in what we’re doing is huge, but even better is having him as a strategic partner and Board member. Very few people know so deeply both of the worlds we straddle.”
Breyer says, “I am very excited about what EDO has achieved and where it’s going. For more than a decade I’ve watched the data science talent arbitrage transform industries from finance to defense, from transportation to commerce. We needed someone to bring these capabilities to bear on the systemic inefficiencies and methodological shortcomings of measurement and analytics in media and advertising. EDO’s data is quickly becoming an essential part of the decision-making and pricing matrix.”
Participating in the round alongside Breyer is a who’s who of industry players including Robert Smith and Brian Sheth, co-founders of Vista Equity, which earlier this year acquired digital ad analytics leader Integral Ad Science and also owns advertising software stalwart Mediaocean, and WGI Group, founded by renowned advertising industry leaders Michael Walrath, Noah Goodhart and Jonah Goodhart, co-founder and CEO of digital ad analytics leader Moat.