Jebbit Gets $70M to Meet the Demands of an Evolving Data Privacy Landscape
First-party data — the information we voluntarily provide about our interests and preferences while online — has long been considered the holy grail of digital advertising, and is now even more valuable considering tech companies like Google and Apple are phasing out the support of third-party cookies amid a rise in data privacy concerns.
This shift has meant big success for companies offering alternatives. Just a couple months ago, NYC-based Permutive raised $75 million from SoftBank, and was soon followed by startups like Rokt and OpenWeb — both of which recently closed on mega-rounds led by some of today’s biggest investors, hitting massive valuations along the way.
Joining them now is Jebbit, a Boston startup that helps companies more easily capture first-party data. The company announced Tuesday it received a $70 million growth equity investment from Vista Equity Partners, capping off a year of “record breaking growth.”
Founded in 2011, Jebbit runs a service that allows brands to create interactive experiences like quizzes and questionnaires, which can then be used to collect information voluntarily given by a specific user. The no-code platform is meant to provide companies with an easy, scalable way to not only get this first-party data, but also better engage with their customers. And it has gone off like gangbusters, especially recently. Jebbit says over the last year it managed to double its revenue and grow its new business by 300 percent.
“The investment from Vista is further validation that the global privacy changes that impacted social advertising platforms’ effectiveness paved the way for zero party data platforms to become the number one marketing strategy for brands large and small across all industries,” co-founder and CEO Tom Coburn said in a statement. “Jebbit led this industry transformation by recognizing that when brands deliver genuine value to consumers they will willingly engage at incredible high rates and provide return data that is critical for building lasting relationships.”
Indeed, although issues surrounding data usage are an especially hot topic of discussion right now, Jebbit has been at the forefront of this for years. The company started as a contestant in a student business plan competition at Boston College, as reported by Forbes. During that time, it caught the eye of Peter Bell, a prolific venture capitalist here in Boston, who asked Coburn and his co-founders to join a summer program run by his fund. From there, Jebbit went through several iterations, and is now a sought-after tool for companies scrambling to make first-party data capture a top priority in light of Google and Apple’s announcements.
“In a world where privacy and third-party data usage have come under increasing scrutiny, Jebbit is critical for brands and e-commerce players looking to increase growth and stay relevant,” Rachel Arnold, a co-head and senior managing director at Vista’s Endeavor Fund, said in a statement. “The perseverance and innovation that Tom, the co-founders and the Jebbit team have invested in the product and client relationships over the past ten years has laid the foundation for many avenues of expansion in the near future, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be their partner for this chapter.”
To that end, Jebbit says it plans to use Vista’s investment to accelerate its product development, sales and marketing efforts in order to keep up with “explosive demand.” It also appears to be in the midst of a hiring spree, with more than a dozen remote-friendly tech positions available in the Boston area.