MDC Partners Inc. (NASDAQ: MDCA; TSX: MDZ.A) announced today that it has made a strategic investment in Ditto Labs, an image recognition technology company based in Boston, MA. Ditto Labs is the leading provider of photo analytics for brands via its proprietary computer vision technology, which allows identification of the brands that appear in the daily torrent of photos shared across public social media.
The new investment is being made through MDC Dream Ventures, as part of MDC Partners’ strategy of bringing innovative technologies to its partners and clients by investing in early-stage companies, particularly in the areas of advertising technology, big data, and content marketing.
“Our investment in Ditto Labs follows our mission to provide MDC’s clients with the unique, cutting-edge solutions that will continue to drive their business,” said Michael Bassik, Managing Director, President, Global Digital Operations of MDC Partners. “A natural fit with MDC’s technology-forward approach, our partnership gives our partners and clients the ability to uncover, in real-time, new insights, trends and engagement opportunities in what is increasingly becoming an image-centric marketplace.”
Ditto’s logo-detection technology complements existing text analytics tools, enabling marketers and brands for the first time to detect, measure and engage with relevant images posted on social platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. Through the context of image-centric conversations, Ditto helps marketers better understand consumers’ brand affinities, usage occasions, and sentiment, to more effectively engage with current consumers and to attract new ones. In May, Ditto was awarded PWC’s Promise Award, which recognizes “start-up companies whose innovative technology solutions show promise to make a significant business impact.”
“With 1.8 billion images shared every day on social platforms, images have continued to dominate social media over the past several years, yet until now, social listening tools have only analyzed text-based posts, rendering images without brand-relevant text as a data blind spot for marketers,” said David Rose, Co-Founder and CEO of Ditto Labs. “Brands without photo analytics can’t fully understand their audience, engage with prospects, or measure the success of their campaigns. We’re thrilled to partner with MDC Partners to help marketers and media buyers better understand and make the most of the visual web.”