Ex-Apple executive, Social Chain co-founder and Praetura Ventures back pioneering AdTech business

Colin Greene, Peter Mason and Dominic McGregor

Apple’s former director of US consumer retail, and the co-founder of Social Chain have been named as investors in Illuma, an AdTech business that’s spearheading the future of advertising, alongside venture capital investor, Praetura Ventures.

The company, which is already disrupting the digital advertising industry with its unique GDPR-compliant AI platform, uses contextual signals from live advertising campaigns to help brands make better decisions about where to place ads in real time, without using personal data or cookies, which are being phased out.

As well as investing alongside Praetura Ventures, Colin, who is responsible for supporting Praetura’s portfolio companies and founders as an operational partner, will also join the Illuma Technology board, bringing decades of global technology and enterprise experience.

Fellow operational partner Dominic McGregor, who is also investing through Praetura Ventures, will work with Illuma as a consultant to aid the company’s expansion into social, after he and Dragons’ Den newcomer Steven Bartlett grew Social Chain into a global agency which debuted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Illuma, which works with several of the world’s biggest brands and advertising platforms, is expecting to capitalise on Google’s plan to end cookies support on Chrome by 2023, as more and more global brands look to re-route their ad spend.

In an industry first, advertisers using Illuma can maximise their return on investment (ROI) by considering sophisticated details about best-performing contexts, such as article sentiment and reader mindset. Using these insights, they can then expand campaigns in real time, reaching relevant new audiences at scale.

Illuma plans to use the investment to expand beyond display ads and into connected TV, audio and social media. The company is also planning to grow its technology, business development and client services teams as well as increase its presence in the US. Financial details of the investment are undisclosed.

On Illuma’s impact, Colin Greene said: “Having worked for over a decade at one of the biggest technology companies in the world responsible for the elimination of cookies, I know how important the privacy debate has been in completely reshaping the market. Illuma, like all great disruptors, has not only seen an opportunity to shift the needle but is also having an immense amount of success doing so, which isn’t always easy in a space that’s as established as advertising.”

Reflecting on the opportunity for advertisers, Dominic McGregor said: “Illuma Technology’s ad platform is an incredibly exciting prospect for advertisers, who are constantly looking for innovative ways to improve ROI and reach audiences they may not be targeting currently. With ongoing conversations around privacy and the future of advertising after cookies, Illuma is well poised to disrupt the industry and do something incredibly unique and exciting.”

Peter Mason, co-founder and CEO of Illuma, said: “Illuma has the privilege of being the right technology at the exact right moment in time, and we are excited to be offering a solution to the greatest challenge in digital advertising. Bolstered by this new investment from Praetura and with the unparalleled expertise of Colin Greene and Dominic McGregor guiding our next steps, the future looks very bright indeed for Illuma and the brands we work with.”