Quantifi looks to be an impressive startup. The company provides AI-powered software to help marketers better test their digital advertising campaigns. It just raised over $2 million in seed funding from local VCs and angels, and it disclosed a short list of customers. Quantifi also happens to be the latest example of Indianapolis’ shift from manufacturing auto parts and air conditioners to building startups.
“Fifteen years ago, you wouldn’t have thought about starting a tech company in Indianapolis or Central Indiana,” Quantifi CEO and cofounder R. J. Talyor told VentureBeat. But since then, a local ecosystem of investors, entrepreneurs, and talented labor has propelled the one-time manufacturing hub of 850,000 people into a top-ranked city for starting a business. “Indianapolis is now being recognized as a tech center with great talent,” Talyor said.
Talyor’s company has developed reinforcement learning that helps marketers move beyond the simple A/B approach for testing social ad campaigns before committing their budgets. Using Quantifi, marketers can experiment with hundreds of variants for messages and creative images across multiple channels, on-the-fly and in real time, in order to make data-driven decisions about what ads will work best. Ad agency Zenith Optimedia, which is owned by Publicis, predicts that global ad spending on social media will reach $50 billion in 2019.