NEWS18 April 2012

Umbel adds funds and Arbitron executive as CEO

Financials North America

US— Umbel, a digital audience measurement firm and one of our picks of the recent SXSW Accelerator contest, has bagged a new CEO and $3.7m in financing ahead of its public launch in the second half of this year.

Arbitron’s Paul Krasinski has come on board to lead the firm, which claims to be setting out to map the “digital genome” of humans and brands on the internet. For brands this means linking their Facebook profile so Umbel can run an analysis on the people who have ‘liked’ it to understand what else they like, along with the demographic and sociographic profile of the audience.

Individual Facebook users get the same treatment, but whereas brands might use Umbel to help them target things to sell, consumers can use it to help find things they might like to buy or try.

Krasinski’s involvement with Umbel goes back to his time at Arbitron, where he held the role of senior vice president of digital media and analytics. The two companies started working together in August 2011 to investigate ways of using social media as a measurement proxy.

Umbel expects to release its first product to market in the third quarter. The financing will help it to “execute on its product roadmap and further business development goals,” the company said.

Krasinski said: “We’re on the precipice of a new era in audience measurement where brands will demand granular data and the technology is available to deliver upon the market needs. It is exciting. I’m proud to join Umbel’s ambitious and talented team and extend the traditional media research principles using social and big data. Umbel has an incredible opportunity to make a large impact on the future of audience measurement.”

The funding round was led by Austin Ventures and included contributions from a number of angel investors.