Not many people have heard of Gigya. Yet millions of people unwittingly use it every day. That’s why it just raised another $35 million, a nice boost to the $70 million it has already raised.
Gigya is a “customer identity management platform,” which means that it helps websites, brands, and advertisers figure out who you are as you move around the web and in apps. As advertisers seek better ways to target ads, and as cookies become ineffective thanks to the rise of the mobile web, websites and apps have taken to requesting that people log in.
But not every website has the skill—or patience—to create its own login system. More importantly, internet users don’t have the capacity to remember myriad log-in and password details. That has led to the rise of “social login”—or the ability to sign into services using Facebook or Google—of which Gigya, along with another company, Janrain, is a leading provider.
Some 77% of people surveyed by Gigya had logged into a website or mobile app using a social network account at least once, even though most of them are aware that doing so involves giving up a degree of privacy.
Knowing someone’s identity is a valuable thing online. It allows advertisers to not just target ads better, but also to figure out whether those ads have had any effect. This is a trend that is not going away any time soon. Gigya’s big new round of funding is just another vote of confidence in a future of pervasive surveillance for the purposes of advertising.