Adtech company LiveIntent opens shop in London

International expansion for the five-year-old startup

Matt Keiser CEO of LiveIntent

LiveIntent, a 140-person company based in New York City, has made a name for itself in the adtech space by combining CRM retargeting and traditional email marketing tactics to boost engagement rates across different devices.

Unlike traditional email marketing technologies, which target you as a different entity across each of your devices, LiveIntent helps its clients take advantage of customer information to deliver targeted ads that know who you are no matter which device you're using.

LiveIntent, headed by CEO Matt Keiser and President Dave Hendricks, was recently named the #2 company on Crain's annual Fast 50 list of the fastest-growing privately held and publicly traded firms in New York. In the past three years, LiveIntent has grown 20,900% (no, that's not a typo), but it's still working on expanding its client base and geographical reach. LiveIntent only generated $21 million in revenue last year and the company still isn't profitable.

However, the five-year-old startup works with more than 650 publishers and more than 290 brands to deliver real-time, data-driven ads. It continues to increase its presence in the United States, and it's bringing its expertise to the United Kingdom this year.

This week, the company opened its first international outpost in London, and it will be working with UK-based publishers Incisive Media and Dennis Publishing to serve more relevant email ads. Full disclosure: LiveIntent also works with TechRadar parent company Future Publishing.

LiveIntent has always been hell-bent on moving full steam ahead to help companies like Disney, Hearst and Conde Nast keep email relevant. Now it wants to accomplish the same task in Europe.

Keiser and Hendricks joined me for an exclusive discussion of LiveIntent's expansion plans and why a hop across the pond was the obvious move.

TechRadar Pro: Why did you decide to open up shop in London? Where is the market there as opposed to the US?

Dave Hendricks: London and the US share a common language and a lot of the same brands. They consume a lot of the same products. The publisher base is also shared. People read The New York Times there and we read The Guardian here.

Matt Keiser: We were closing deals there without having feet on the street. There's a lot of interest in what we're doing, but no one has solved the problem LiveIntent has. What we've done is very straightforward and badly needed everywhere. One-third of all time online is spent in email. That's mobile or desktop. Email is not going away. For us this is a natural extension. We've grown so quickly in the US. We're not engaging in the international market because we need growth, but because our advertisers see the UK as a valuable outlet for media. We've already got business there so it's very natural to [set up operations there]. I also love London and the UK. It's a great place and a great culture.

Hendricks: The market is wide open in the UK. We're starting from scratch there with a base of US publishers serving impressions to UK readers. Their publishers haven't adopted our technology yet because it didn't exist.

Keiser: For a lot of brands it's painful to put ads in newsletters and alerts. It's painful to add them and then have them be effective. That's our value proposition. We can help companies do that, and we can help them monetize it. We're implementing Europe to start not only with placing ads but to monetize them as well. Everyone has realized that targeting cookies doesn't work across devices. In the world where the average consumer has four devices, it isn't effective to do cookie-based targeting.

TRP: How do you envision the first year in London playing out?