40. Drawbridge

An ad's journey from screen to screen.

Founder: Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan (CEO)
Launched: 2010
Headquarters: San Mateo, California
$53.7 million
Valuation: $230 million (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
Artificial intelligence, machine learning
Ad targeting, digital marketing

George Kavallines | CNBC

San Mateo, California-based Drawbridge uses A.I. and machine learning to build solutions that enable brands to create personalized experiences for their customers. It does this by allowing companies to identify the multiple devices (phone, laptop, tablet) that are most likely being used by the same person. This enables brands to better target their ads and messaging. So, for instance, if a company is using Drawbridge's technology, the activity you're (anonymously) engaged in on your desktop or laptop could influence the ads you see pushed out to you on your smartphone. If you then make a purchase on your laptop, Drawbridge can tell the advertiser which ad prompted you to do so. The company is also pairing that cross-device data with offline purchases as well. In other words, it can determine if a mobile ad pushed you to buy something in a brick-and-mortar store.

Read More: FULL LIST: 2018 DISRUPTOR 50

Founder and CEO Sivaramakrishnan was the chief scientist at Admob (acquired by Google in 2009 for $750 million) before she started Drawbridge in 2010. The company says its customers include retailers, restaurant chains, consumer electronics, health-care systems and state tourism boards. So far, Drawbridge has attracted money from the biggest names in venture capital: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital are among the firms that have invested a little more than $53 million in the company. This includes a July round of funding from the Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co. for $5.2 million. Mitsui is also acting as a strategic partner in Japan, where it will act as the commercial distributor of Drawbridge's identity solutions in the region.