A data analytics firm founded by actor Edward Norton and poet and entrepreneur Daniel Nadler has closed $12 million in series A funding, in an investment round led by Breyer Capital.
Their company, EDO, seeks to apply advanced data science and machine learning to TV advertising, to help buyers make better marketing decisions. EDO says it’s able to measure consumer product and brand searches so precisely it can determine which TV ad sparked a consumer’s interest.
“Our clients are hungry for high-grade actionable insights into how much engagement — true consumer intent — is being delivered for the dollars spent,” CEO Kevin Krim said in a statement. “Measuring how much ‘exposure’ is being delivered just doesn’t cut it anymore, and social and other weak proxies of engagement have not proven to have strong correlation to economic outcomes.”
Krim said advertisers and buyers want credible, rigorous data that reveals which ads and media inventory are producing results. EDO has tracked the consumer impact of more than 47 million ads aired over the past three and a half years, giving marketers clarity about the effectiveness of their campaigns.
EDO works closely with a roster of top media companies, including ESPN, Turner, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., Lionsgate and Paramount, helping them optimize their TV buys. The new capital will enable EDO to scale up its national sales and analytical coverage, technical talent and new product development.
Founded in 2015, EDO got its start after Norton invested in Nadler’s first company, Kensho Technologies, which built machine learning systems for the US Intelligence Community and large financial institutions. Kensho quickly attracted the six largest global banks as investors and clients before S&P Global purchased it earlier this year for over $700 million, the highest price ever paid for an AI company.
Meanwhile, Norton had founded and sold his own company, CrowdRise, to GoFundMe in 2017, which is now the largest social fundraising platform in the world, processing over $2B of charitable donations annually.
Drawn together by a shared love of the arts — Norton is a well-known actor and filmmaker and Nadler is an award-winning poet — they became friends and collaborators. Norton convinced Nadler that there was an opportunity to apply advanced data science and machine learning in the media and advertising space to bring greater sophistication to ad measurement.
They recruited a team of top engineers and data scientists from Nadler’s Harvard network and media veterans from Nielsen and NBCU, including Krim, the former head of CNBC Digital who had driven Comcast’s investment in Kensho.
“EDO’s special capabilities as a company flow from our ability to leverage veteran media and advertising expertise alongside technology and data science talent that, quite frankly, traditional media and advertising measurement companies could never hire,” Norton said.
Participating in the round alongside investor Jim Breyer are Robert Smith and Brian Sheth, co-founders of Vista Equity, and WGI Group, founded by renowned advertising industry leaders Michael Walrath, Noah Goodhart and Jonah Goodhart, co-founder and CEO of digital ad analytics leader Moat.