Praetura invests in Manchester-based Lunio to tackle fake traffic in online advertising

1st July 2024, 1:37 pm

Praetura Ventures has invested in a growing ad tech business aiming to tackle invalid and fraudulent traffic, and prevent advertisers losing millions in ad spend on fake clicks.

The Manchester-based venture capital investor has backed Lunio alongside existing investors Smedvig Ventures and Fuel Ventures.

The business, which works with over 1,000 businesses globally, including M&S, Hugo Boss and Sykes Cottages, will use this funding to target new sectors and global growth, expanding into markets in Europe and the U.S.

Founded in Manchester in 2018 by Neil Andrew, Lunio gives performance marketers insights and tools to eliminate invalid and junk traffic at scale, empowering them to drive more incremental value and commercial success from their digital advertising.

Fake traffic is more prevalent than ever. Lunio’s 2024 Wasted Ad Spend Report, published in partnership with ad verification platform Integral Ad Science, found that one in 12 paid ad clicks are invalid. That translates into almost $205 billion in lost revenue opportunities in 2024 alone.

The primary source of invalid traffic comes from bots, which can be deployed by bad actors to fraudulently claim a larger share of ad revenue. Recently, Imperva’s Bad Bot Report found that 47.4% of all internet traffic came from bots in 2022 (a five-point increase on 2021), highlighting the scale of the issue.

Lunio’s platform tackles this problem by automatically identifying and removing bots and fake ad engagements across their client’s paid channels. Marketers also benefit from greater transparency over their paid traffic, with Lunio surfacing actionable traffic quality insights relating to individual campaigns, keywords, locations and placements.

The service empowers businesses to eliminate inefficiencies by concentrating ad spend on higher-quality audiences with genuine conversion potential. Consistently driving cleaner, more valuable traffic from paid search and paid social campaigns significantly increases return on ad spend over time.

Neil Andrew, CEO and founder of Lunio, said: “We are incredibly proud to work with Praetura, a fellow Manchester based organisation with extensive resources, networks and expertise to support us on our mission to give every performance marketer access to reliable, transparent IVT detection that drives proven commercial success. With invalid traffic never higher, and the paid media landscape never more complex, we are poised for incredible growth both at home and abroad, and are excited to have the Praetura team with us on the journey.”

The investment also sees Lunio joining Praetura’s growing list of investments into adtech and martech companies, including Covatic and Illuma Technology.

Peter Carway, investment director at Praetura Ventures, said: “Lunio is a great example of an innovative Manchester tech business addressing a key issue for advertisers and marketers. The company’s rapid growth, expanding market and experienced management team attracted us instantly.

“Adtech is an area that’s gaining increasing traction, particularly as fraud becomes ever more sophisticated, and a vertical that we’re finding ourselves paying more and more attention to. We’re looking forward to working closely with Neil and the team and supporting them with our more than money approach as Lunio continues to scale.”

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