Acquisitions / Advertising

Center City’s Amino Payments acquired, will retire the brand in deal with Integral Ad Science

The two companies, both of which were cofounded by Will Luttrell, began working on a digital advertising product together in April 2020.

Amino cofounders David Bookspan (left) and Will Luttrell. (Courtesy photo)

Just a few years after setting up shop in Center City and exciting local investors, adtech company Amino Payments announced this week that it had been acquired by digital ad verification company Integral Ad Science (IAS).

Amino cofounder Will Luttrell is also a cofounder of the 13-year-old, New York-based IAS. The companies partnered in April 2020 to launch the Total Visibility product, which offers advertisers impression-level financial insights and media quality verification for ad campaigns.

“As even more digital media is transacted programmatically, the need for transparency will continue to be critical for advertisers,” Luttrell said in a statement. “The Amino Payments team is thrilled to join IAS, the market leader in verification, to pursue a joint vision to bring unprecedented transparency into programmatic advertising.”

Amino, which operated under the name Curren-C until 2017, was cofounded by Luttrell, Monetate’s David Bookspan and Chris Chapman, and uses adtech and blockchain to make online advertising more transparent. The trio first fundraised in 2017, with a seed round lead by First Round Capital, catching the attention of founder Josh Kopelman.

“Josh was in L.A. and called David asking why he was finding out in L.A. about a company we were building in Philadelphia,” Luttrell said of the raise back in 2017. “He got on a redeye and we met with him the next morning.”

The team then raised a $4.5 million round in 2018 to ramp up hiring and expand its footprint, again with funding from First Round and with participation a number of firms and experts from the adtech space: You & Mr Jones Brandtech VenturesNyca Investment FundTessera Venture PartnersLiveRamp founder Auren Hoffman and BrightRoll founder Tod Sacerdoti.

In 2019, Amino ranked second on our RealLIST Startups for attracting customers like AT&T and Bayer. Total Visibility is now an IAS brand, and the Amino Payments brand name will be retired, the companies said in a statement.

Lisa Utzschneider, CEO of IAS, said that programmatic advertising is a growing industry, and the acquisition will bring “comprehensive transparency” to it.

“By welcoming Amino Payments to IAS, we will unleash the full potential of programmatic advertising for marketers who need their campaigns to be highly effective and cost-efficient,” Utzschneider said in a statement.

Luttrell referred to a spokesperson for IAS, who declined to answer inquiries about Amino’s Philly office and if the company will maintain a presence here. The spokesperson also declined to address if Amino’s founders will stay in the region, or how many of its employees will go on to work for IAS. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Luttrell’s LinkedIn profile notes that he is an “executive consultant” for IAS as of this month.

Companies: Amino / First Round Capital

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