The 19 most interesting ad-tech upstarts of 2017, ranked

Ad-tech funding has dried up and the IPO market is quiet.

But there are many companies making waves, particularly startups focused on marketing data, brand safety, and the future of TV ads.

You can see it in the slowdown in VC funding. The growing power of Google and Facebook has shaken up the market. Many saw the recent $125.5 million sale of Rocket Fuel, which was once valued at $2 billion, as the end of an era in ad tech. So this year, we’re rethinking our hottest pre-IPO ad-tech ranking. We stretched the definition, going beyond companies purely anchored in the programmatic-ad sector to include startups that help big marketers make sense of their growing piles of data, a massively important area with loads of opportunity going forward.


  1. Amazon: methodically conquering ad tech
  2. Integral Ad Science: leader in brand safety
  3. MParticle: helping brands grapple with data fragmentation
  4. Innovid: plugged into next-generation TV advertising
  5. AppNexus: aspires to challenge the duopoly
  6. Sprinklr: the social-media data hub for major marketers
  7. Roku: built its own OTT ad stack
  8. AdRoll: a hot retargeting upstart
  9. AppBoy: aiming to bring the marketing cloud to mobile
  10. MediaMath: part of the ad-tech establishment
  11. OpenSlate: making sense of YouTube for brands
  12. Samba TV: backed by traditional TV incumbents
  13. The Washington Post: publisher as ad-tech company
  14. Datorama: ramping up headcount quickly
  15. BounceX: aiming to make behavioral ad data more ubiquitous
  16. iSpot TV: analytics for smart TVs
  17. Celtra: making digital creative easier
  18. Yieldbot: bringing better ad targeting to more publishers
  19. Beeswax: ad tech for those that don’t want to build their own ad tech.

More details around this ranking along with details on each company with its revenue, # of employees, funding, top executives etc. here:


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