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AI startup NumberEight raises £2m for ‘cookieless’ targeted ads

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NumberEight, a startup using AI to deliver consumer behaviour insights to advertisers, has raised $2.7m (£2.1m).

Based in London, NumberEight has developed an AI tool to detect the behaviour of device users for advertisers, which can use the information to send personalised ads without needing cookies.

“Against the current zeitgeist of increasing privacy regulations and data restrictions by platforms, there is an urgent need for innovative solutions that empower advertisers without compromising user privacy,” said Abhishek Sen, co-founder and CEO of NumberEight.

“This investment is a testament to our foresight in on-device AI and privacy-focused technologies, setting the stage for our global product and commercial expansion plans.”

NumberEight told UKTN that its behavioural tracking technology can maintain privacy by “processing all data directly on the device”.

According to the company, “this implies that no raw data ever leaves the local device of the user”.

Identifiable information from users are “general categories” such as “joggers” or “regular shoppers.” The company said the cohort ID assigned to users to collect the data is “neither unique nor does it disclose any personal data about the user. It cannot be employed to re-identify the user as an individual”.

Google Chrome, the world’s most popular web browser – with more than 60% of the global market share – announced in December it would phase out third-party cookies, limiting the access advertisers have to users’ personal information.

NumberEight claims its AI product bypasses the need for traditional cookies, giving advertisers consumer insights without accessing their identity.

The pre-Series A funding round was led by ACF Investors and included investments from Nauta Capital, Ascension Ventures as well as angel investors.

“Governments around the world are enacting stricter privacy regulations, making it more difficult for advertisers to collect and use user data without their consent,” said ACF Investors managing partner Tim Mills.

“NumberEight’s innovative approach to identity and privacy has the potential to make a significant impact in the industry, by addressing the challenges facing advertisers and consumers alike. We are delighted to be a part of this remarkable journey.”