Young adtech startup Narrative looks to change the way user data is bought and sold. Founded in 2016, Narrative has created a marketplace platform that connects buyers and sellers of data.
“There’s a pent-up demand for folks looking to buy data and a pent-up supply of people looking to sell data,” Narrative CEO Nick Jordan told TechCrunch. “For the data economy to have less friction, we need to give tools to both the buyers and sellers to help them find each other easily and let them easily integrate with each other.”
Recently, Narrative scored a $2.25 million venture capital boost in the form of a seed funding round with participation from XSeed Capital, Kiwi Ventures and C2 Ventures, among others.
The company describes what it does as "data commercialization" to avoid confusion with a data management platform. Narrative's marketplace allows data buyers to find sellers and bid on their data. Sellers can also leverage the platform to manage their transactions.
While the startup's focus has thus far been in the adtech space, Narrative's capabilities could extend beyond marketing and advertising. Jordan gave TechCrunch the example of a commercial real estate leveraging the marketplace to purchase data that could help a retailer select the prime spot for its next brick-and-mortar location.
Narrative's seed round defies the industry slowdown of adtech funding at the hands of Facebook and Google. The perception among many VCs has been that adtech has little long-term scalability because of Facebook's and Google’s dominance.
Funding for advertising technology startups hit five-year lows in 2016. All told there were 343 adtech venture deals last year, a 17 percent drop compared with the 414 deals made in 2015. The value of the funding was also weaker, hitting just $2.2 billion 2016 compared to $3.2 billion prior.