Cookie-less Adtech Company Seedtag Raises $252 Million

Seedtag, a Spanish advertising startup that uses AI tools to match clients with consumers, has raised more than $252 million from a single investor, Advent International, which will be used for expansion beyond Europe.

The eight-year-old adtech company has responded to the need for an alternative to cookies, the files created by websites that save user browsing information, which have come under scrutiny by privacy and security experts, regulators, and platform operators. Seedtag, along with a cohort of tech companies, has created “privacy first” alternatives, allowing companies to advertise on programmatic platforms without amassing data they would have needed to collect using cookies.

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“Seedtag has established itself as a leading player in Europe and Latin America in the very dynamic contextual advertising sector,” said Gonzalo Santos, Managing Director at Advent International and Head of Spain, in a statement. “With our international presence and deep sector expertise, Advent will work with the Seedtag management team to further expand the business internationally.”

Two former Google employees, Jorge Poyatos and Albert Nieto, founded and lead the company. Nieto will move to the U.S. to help grow the business as part of the deal. The pair worked in industry analytics and strategy at Google before launching the startup.

Seedtag is not disclosing its valuation with the round. Up to this point, it had raised around $46 million in its eight years in operation, with past investors including Intelectium Business, Oakley Capital, All Iron Ventures, and Adara Ventures, who are remaining as shareholders, along with the Poyatos and Nieto. Seedtag has recently added high-profile clients including Unilever brands, LG, and Levi’s.

Seedtag calls its product “contextual AI technology,” which it has branded “LIZ.” It “reads” what is on a page or within a site, rather than what a user is browsing across all of the web. Then, it combines that data with its own algorithms to determine the interests of that particular user. With that information, it can create ads that are relevant to the user’s interest and direct them to specific content.