Adjust, a Berlin-headquartered company focused on mobile ad measurement and fraud prevention, is acquiring bot detection startup Unbotify.
Founded in 2012, Adjust has become increasingly focused on ad fraud, and in fact created an industry group called the Coalition Against Ad Fraud a little over a year ago. Co-founder and CTO Paul Müller argued that although the industry has become increasingly concerned about fraud, Adjust has led the way in taking a more proactive approach: “Instead of just telling our clients, ‘Hey, you just spent money on fraud,’ we actively intervened and rejected attribution to a fraudulent source.”
In Müller’s view, Unbotify fits in with the company’s broader philosophy because the Israeli startup isn’t just trying to detect bots — it also “produces explainable results,” providing a clear explanation of why an impression couldn’t have come from a real human being.
“We strongly believe fraud isn’t a problem that can be solved with a magical black box or eight ball,” he said. “Fraud should not be an opinion. We believe in clear, transparent measurement of why something is fraud.”
Adjust co-founder and CEO Christian Henschel said the entire 25-person Unbotify team will be joining the company, and will continue working as an independent office in Tel Aviv. In fact, Adjust plans to double the size of the team by the end of the year.
The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Unbotify was founded in 2015 by Yaron Oliker and Alon Dayan. According to Crunchbase, it raised $2 million in funding from Maverick Ventures Israel.
Ultimately, Henschel said, “What we’d like to achieve is to end fraud for digital media.”
Not that they think that Adjust alone can put a stop to all fraud. Instead, they hope to simply make it too costly and difficult for fraudsters to target Adjust customers.
“If you have a lot of houses on the street, and some of the doors are heavily fortified, most of the time [the thieves] will go with the door leaning open,” Müller said. “For us, the goal is not to eliminate fraud on idealistic level, but actually to make it financially unviable.”
The announcement comes just a month after Adjust announced it was buying data aggregation company Acquired.io.