Krasinski-led startup raises $3.7m in funding, brings on Nielsen, Arbitron vet as Chief Research Officer

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Issue Date: 
Jun 15 2012 - 12:40pm

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UmbelUmbel -- the new Austin-based analytics startup with former Ando Media and Arbitron exec Paul Krasinski at the helm -- is making headlines with new hires and millions of dollars in new funding.

This week Umbel hired Dr. Thomas Evans as Chief Research Officer. He previously served at Nielsen, Arbitron, ESPN, Westwood One and ABC. In May it brought Starcom veteran Amy Bickers on board as Director of Agency Solutions. And in April, former Ando Media and Arbitron executive Paul Krasinski was appointed CEO.

Meanwhile, the company has raised $3.7 million in Series A funding, which included an undiscolsed amount from the Knight Enterprise Fund. "Traditional publishers have a hard time identifying what it is the audience is responding to in their content,” Ben Wirz, director of business consulting for the Knight Foundation said. “Umbel brings scalable ways of doing that.”

So what exactly does Umbel do? What sets it apart from other measurement services?

The Nieman Lab explains that Umbel is "trying to develop a kit publishers can use to extract a richer set of data about their audiences...with information gathered through social media profiles and other online behaviors." The company aims to "triangulate all the signals we leave around the Internet to try to create a unified picture."

So, "if a reader [or, say, listener] on your site spends their time at Starbucks and talks a lot about their Subaru on other networks, Umbel can gather that information." It can also reportedly show what content users prefer, which could help a service "better tailor its content" for its audience.

"It’s as if we’re conducting a real-time survey of the audience without actually asking them questions,” said Umbel CTO Higinio "H.O." Maycotte.

Paul Krasinski

"I think really our core value proposition is to enable publishers to take value of their inventory and give them data that is more precise," said Krasinski (pictured left).

"With the data provided by Umbel," comments the Nieman Lab, "a publisher has more nuanced information to take directly to advertisers." The data could also or provide "ammunition" to raise CPMs.

The company's service is currently in private beta, but it's already working with brands like Boston Bruins, Streetwise Media and Austin City Limits.

You can find Umbel's website here. For more information, find the Nieman Lab's article here and Radio-Info's coverage here.

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