Reddit to contextualize conversations for advertisers with Spiketrap acquisition

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Reddit today announced the acquisition of an audience intelligence and contextualization company called Spiketrap. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With more than 100,000 active communities and a wide range of conversations, Reddit has become a popular destination for advertising. The company has been working on ways to help businesses reach relevant and leaned-in audiences, and now, as part of the same effort, it is bringing Spiketrap’s technology and people under its umbrella. 

What does Spiketrap do?

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in California, Spiketrap empowers brands in the media and gaming industries with bespoke audience intelligence and media tools. 

Under the former, the company uses artificial intelligence (AI) to extract useful signals from a wealth of unstructured datasets and delivers audience insights, social media insights, competitive intelligence and impact measurement to advertisers. It gives unparalleled audience clarity and context, particularly within high-velocity online environments, the company says. 


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Meanwhile, the media tools serve as the follow-up offering, enabling companies to act on that clarity and context to drive better engagement.

Spiketrap has not shared the names of the customers it has worked with but the company claims to have seen significant demand in its target industries. It also raised seed funding back in 2020 from multiple investors, including Susa, 645, Pathbreaker and Anorak.

How this is a great deal for Reddit

With this deal, Reddit hopes to bring Spiketrap’s contextual analysis and engagement tools, and the team behind them, into its ad business. As the company explains, the move will enhance its ability to target users with ads based on their conversations and interests on the platform, while also improving ad-quality scoring and engagement prediction models for auto bidding. 

This will ultimately improve ad relevance and performance on Reddit, driving higher return on investment and improved solutions for advertising brands.

“We empower advertisers with the necessary tools to connect with relevant audiences and communities on Reddit. Spiketrap’s superior contextual NLP/ML [natural language processing/machine learning] technology is a great fit for our platform as we move into the next phase of our ads product strategy and expand our advertiser offerings,” a Reddit spokesperson told VentureBeat. The team from Spiketrap has already joined Reddit and will soon start supporting and spearheading projects across the ad business, the company noted.

Previous moves for Reddit’s ad business

While the decision to acquire Spiketrap makes sense for Reddit, this is not the first time the company has made an acquisition to boost its advertising capabilities and drive better engagement. Previously, it had acquired Spell, a SaaS-based (software-as-a-service) AI platform, to identify and classify contextual relevance of conversations and customize ad placements. Another notable acquisition was that of NLP company MeaningCloud.

“We believe targeting relevant audiences based on interests, and with the context of the conversations they are engaging in, helps ensure advertisers are reaching the right people in the most efficient ways,” Shariq Rizvi, Reddit EVP of ads monetization, said. “We have been actively investing in solutions to this end for some time and this acquisition will round out Reddit’s capability, taking it to the next level.”

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