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$486 million' anti-ad fraud firm Telemetry has shut down

Published by Business Insider on Wed, 11 Jan 2017

Telemetry, an adtech outfit that specialized in detecting fraudulent traffic and was once tipped to be worth $486m plus a possible IPO, has closed its operations The Drum has learneda development that took place in the immediate aftermath of the recent Methbot revelations.Industry sources note that Telemetry closed its operations with short notice on the final day of 2016, with adops execs attempting to contact the UK-based outfit (which also claimed to have operations in New York and Los Angeles) receiving automated emails notifying them of the development.Telemetrys website remains operational, although customer attempts to log-in to its dashboard are met with a DNS address could not be found message, with market sources also noting that a single customer representative will remain to support customers during the transition period.The Drum attempted to source comment from Telemetry, which is listed as having a headcount of between 50-100 employees, contacting the outfit via the telephone number listed for its London and New York offices, where an automated voice message tells callers the number is no longer in service. Although it was eventually able to reach a company representative who claimed it was going through a transition.The Drum is awaiting Telemetry cofounder and chief executive Anthony Rushton, who had once tipped the company to go public in 2015, to provide official comment on the latest developments after several attempts to contact him.Telemetry, a self described London-based independent digital media forensics company was founded in 2009. It worked with advertisers and agencies to ensure that the ads are properly delivered, are being viewed by the intended audience, alongside the proper content, and that reach and impressions are not being inflated.Brands that have worked with the outfit include: LOreal; Mercedes-Benz; Reckitt Benckiser; Unilever; Verizon Wireless; among others. And in 2012 it claimed revenues of 24m, with Deloitte then tipping it to be valued at 486m by 2015.Media agency sources had complained that Telemetrys technology would frequently break down which would then result in it under-reporting campaign numbers, as opposed to the total number of ads served. This scenario would then prove a more favorable number for Telemetry's client-direct accounts and place downward pressure on the agency campaign figures, although Telemetry was unable to respond to these allegations.Other sources have also highlighted the close proximity of Telemetry's closure and the Methbot claims made in WhiteOps' most recent reportwhere it claimed that advertisers are losing up to $7m per dayclaims that have prompted an investigation by US Federal authoritiescould arguably have caused a crisis of confidence in its ability to detect fraudulent traffic adequately.Documents on Telemetry's Companies House profile show that a document dated December 6, 2016, demonstrated a motion to have it struck off and dissolved was later discontinued (see below).Although the latest accounts information available on the same page contains a document which revealed that it suffered an 8% reduction in revenue in 2014 compared to 12 months earlier, due to the loss of a single client. The same note claimed the bulk of its revenues are generated in the US. Accounts for the proceeding 12 months are listed as "overdue".Telemetry was behind the high-profile 2014 report which claimed that a Mercedes-Benz online ad campaign was viewed more often by bots than human beings, with adtech outfit Rocket Fuel. The latter company itself announced the imminent lay-off of 11% of its global headcount yesterday (January 10), fingered as inadvertently facilitating the error (many have claimed this has led to Rocket Fuels stock price to go into a tail-spin which it has yet to recover from).SEE ALSO:Rocket Fuel's CEO talks about the company's future as it lays off 11% of staffJoin the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: A Harvard psychologist reveals the best way to fake it till you make it
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