South Korean Content Discovery Platform Dable Picks Up US$12M Series C, Aims for Global Expansion


Dable uses big data and personalization technologies to provide recommended content to 500 million users every month.

South Korean content discovery platform Dable has secured US$12 million in a Series C round, the company announced today. The round values Dable at over $90 million.

The funding brings Dable’s total capital haul to $20 million, and follows up on its Series B round in April 2018, where the company had raised $5.4 million.

Funds will be put toward the company’s global expansion, the statement noted. Dable aims to complete its pan-Asia expansion by 2024, and aims to reach U.S. and European markets as well. In 2021, the company will be entering Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, China, Australia and Turkey.

“Through this series round, we will expand our service countries so that Dable’s personalized recommendation solutions can operate in more countries. Dable will aspire to become the No.1 personalized recommendation platform with our technological competitive advantage,” Dable CEO Chaehyun Lee said in the statement.

SV Investment was the lead investor in the round, joined by new investors KB Investment and K2 Investment Partners, and existing backer Kakao Ventures.

“We are excited to lead Dable’s Series C investment and are impressed by the outstanding personalization technology it owns to help improve the media’s competition. We think it has the potential to become the No.1 content discovery platform in the near future and look forward to seeing the company advance,” Principal at SV Investment Joowan Jung said in the statement.

Dable uses targeting to provide content recommendation solutions

Founded in 2015, Dable uses big data processing and personalization technologies to offer content recommendation services to media houses, ecommerce companies, and content providers such as blogs or apps. The company currently reaches 500 million users each month, with five billion content pieces recommended. Dable’s platform processes 100 million clicks per month, the statement added.

Dable’s services are available in key Asian markets including South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. The company has partnerships with over 2500 media houses including MBC, SBS, and Chosun Ilbo in Korea, ET Today, LTN, and Now News in Taiwan, Liputan6, Tempo, and Suara in Indonesia, Thanh Niên, Saostar, and Bongda, in Vietnam, and Ripple Media, Nanyang, and Malaysiakini in Malaysia.

“Dable’s personalized recommendation solution contributes to improving the media’s competitiveness, to enhancing advertisers’ performance, and to increasing user satisfaction on the internet. Its excellence has already been proven in several countries in Asia,” Lee noted in the statement.

Dable is able to bolster media revenues by increasing article consumption and time spent on site. It also condenses the content search process. Dable also participates in the ad delivery process, purchasing ad impression from a wide range of inventories and enabling advertisers to advertise with Dable’s media partners, on Google and MSN, and on Kakao through an RTB-based Dable Native Ad Exchange.

The statement noted that Dable’s average annual sales growth rate has crossed 50% since its founding. Its sales stood at $27.5 million in 2020, reflecting a growth of 63% year-on-year on account of its expansion efforts in Asia.

“Dable creates meaningful business performance by incorporating AI solutions into the media and advertising fields. It’s no wonder that it doesn’t stop at its success in Asia, but thrives in international markets as well. It is a company whose future is highly anticipated. We are excited to be a part of their journey going forward,” Partner at Kakao Ventures, Kijun Kim said in the statement.

Targeted ads and content are a growing innovation within the ad tech industry. It helps advertisers reach target users effectively, and encourages them to engage with the ad and make a purchase.

There are different ways to target users. Some are based on monitoring and tracking user behavior on the Internet, some on keyword searches, and some others on the context, content, and the user demographics of websites where ads are to be placed.

The ability of targeting to give some semblance of organization to troves of web content can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it helps users find content that matches their interests. But it can also lock away other relevant pieces of content that may challenge user perceptions, resulting in a kind of echo chamber.

Targeting, specifically behavioral targeting, has also been heavily criticized for its privacy-invasive nature, and their ability to deeply manipulate user behavior. Ad and marketing industry leaders have called for the transparent and consent-based use of data.


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