With the announcement that it is bringing the technology of audience contextualization business Spiketrap in-house, Reddit’s acquisition binge has continued this morning. Reddit claims that Spiketrap’s AI-powered contextual analysis and tools would help Reddit improve in areas like ad quality grading and will strengthen prediction models for enabling auto-bidding. Deal terms were not disclosed.
Reddit wants to make it simpler for advertisers to target relevant audiences based on interests, and this partnership represents a growing investment in Reddit’s advertising company. This agreement also comes at a time when customers are choosing not to have their advertising personalized as a result of Apple’s consumer privacy tools, App Tracking Transparency, or ATT, which has a negative influence on the effectiveness of online ads on big internet platforms like Facebook and Snap.
San Francisco-based Spiketrap was established in 2016 by Kieran Seán Fitzpatrick, Virgilio Pigliucci, and Andrea Vattani. According to the company’s website, Spiketrap currently employs over 20 people. The business promotes its in-house Clair AI technology, which can separate unstructured information’ “signal from noise” and identify patterns. According to the firm, a variety of solutions in contextual ad targeting, impact assessment, brand safety monitoring, and other research and data-as-a-service solutions are offered in conjunction with its knowledge graph.
It encourages the development of technology that, among other things, can identify the entities that a piece of material might be alluding to even when those references aren’t made openly in things like movies, TV series, games, franchises, and more. The business claims that this AI can handle ambiguity, acronyms, and abbreviations. The latter is a problem Reddit has struggled with over the years, frequently having to shut down hateful and deplorable subreddits, those who engage in harassment, and others that advertisers would want to avoid. However, its Emotion AI is also able to detect the sentiment around a post, like excitement, sarcasm, or toxicity. Most recently, following the riots on January 6, it banned the r/donaldtrump subreddit.
The depth of discourse among our 100,000+ vibrant communities is what sets Reddit apart and makes it so desirable to marketers. In a statement on the agreement, Reddit EVP of Ads Monetization Shariq Rizvi stated, “We believe targeting relevant audiences based on interests and with the context of the conversations they are engaged in helps ensure advertisers are reaching the appropriate individuals in the most efficient ways. “For some time, we have been aggressively investing in solutions to this purpose, and this acquisition will complete Reddit’s capability and advance it. I’m ecstatic to have the Spiketrap crew join the Reddit community, Rizvi continued.
The news made today comes after other recent acquisitions by Reddit, including the platforms for executing machine learning experiments Spell and MeaningCloud in June and July, respectively. Reddit may utilize the former to enhance its capabilities in a variety of areas, such as the suggestions for its more recent Discover page, as well as its efforts on safety and its targeted advertising business. Similar to Spiketrap, MeaningCloud advertised its capacity to glean meaning from unstructured content, raising the possibility that Reddit has more ambitious plans for achieving quick advancements in this area, particularly with reference to its capacity to serve advertisers.
The 15-person Spiketrap team, according to Reddit, has already joined the organization and will lead other projects in the future for its ads business. Reddit is currently concentrating on fusing Spiketrap’s tools, technology, and resources with Reddit; as part of this transition, the company emphasizes, a future plan for its commercial operation will be included.
In a statement, Kieran Fitzpatrick, CEO, and co-founder of Spiketrap stated, “Our mission has always been to contextualize language at scale and in real-time to assist creators, businesses, and platforms actually understand and effectively engage their audiences. We’re excited to scale these initiatives even more as a member of Reddit.
A Reddit representative acknowledged that Spiketrap raised $3.5 million in a seed round in 2020 but did not provide a valuation. In the seed round for Spiketrap, Susa, 645, Pathbreaker, and Anorak took the lead. After the acquisition, the Spiketrap team will fill top roles in Reddit’s Product and Engineering division, where former Spiketrap CEO and co-founder Kieran Fitzpatrick will work as Director of Product, according to the company.