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Neilsen acquires Visual IQ, founded by Indian Americans

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The multitouch attribution provider was cofounded by Anto Chittilappilly and Manu Mathew in 2006.

Anto Chittilappilly (left) and Manu Mathew. Photo credit: Visual IQ

Visual IQ, a marketing intelligence software provider founded by Indian Americans Anto Chittilappilly and Manu Mathew, is being acquired by Nielson Holdings. The deal is expected to be closed this month.

The acquisition will help Nielsen to track the advertisement clicks from both buyers and sellers using Visual IQ’s “multi-touch attribution” (MTA) model.

Announcing a “definitive agreement” for the acquisition last week, Neilsen said it will buy the MTA software platform with its data, technology and intellectual property. The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. However, a valuation expert told the American Bazaar that Needham, MA,-based company could fetch as much as $200 million.

“Our acquisition of Visual IQ strengthens Nielsen’s powerful capabilities in the marketing effectiveness space, bringing speed and granularity at scale to ROI measurement,” said Matt Krepsik, Global Head of Product Leadership for Marketing ROI, Nielsen. “Visual IQ’s rich history of marketing attribution and digital intelligence combined with Nielsen’s gold-standard marketing effectiveness solutions will provide advertisers, publishers and agencies with a holistic platform that offers the transparency to optimize and improve the return on marketing investments.”

In a  statement, Visual IQ’s co-founder and CEO Mathew said his company’s expertise would help Nielsen to strengthen its data capabilities and its digital marketing performance.

“Our mission at Visual IQ has always been to drive marketing effectiveness with algorithmic attribution technology that allows customers to view tactical advertising performance through the lens of key audience segments,” he said. “Our team is excited to be joining the Nielsen family as we integrate our capabilities with theirs, and provide increased value to clients and a more powerful combined solution to the industry as a whole.”

Mathew and Chittilappilly cofounded Visual IQ in 2006.

Mathew, a second generation Indian American, holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from College of Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Before launching the startup, he worked at Carat Fusion, first as the VP of its CRM services and then as the managing director of its Boston office. During his more than a 3-year stint at Carat Fusion, his helped raise the company revenues and profits by three times.

Mathew also worked as the chief operating officer of Vizium for two years until the company was acquired by Carat Fusion. He served as director in Technology Solutions in Primix Solutions from 1995 till 2000.

He quit his job to co-found Visual IQ to create a common platform to understand customer interactions with brands online. It then helps track customers and simultaneously provides essential inputs to the businesses to optimize their marketing and advertising performance by creating audience-specific marketing solutions.

Chittilappilly, the company’s president and chief technology officer, is a graduate of Calicut University, in Kerala, India. He holds a bachelor’s in electrical and electronics engineering and has certification in business communications from Harvard University.

Prior to launching Visual IQ, he worked at Sun Microsystems, Oracle and IRI.

At IRI, Chittilappilly was instrumental in building the world’s first multi-dimensional database tools, according to his company bio.

“MTA and marketing mix modeling (MMM), which measure ROI at the individual person-level and the store level, respectively, are rapidly gaining traction,” the Nielsen release said. “With an increasing amount of marketing budgets going to digital channels, brand advertisers continue to push for more accountability and for faster measures of impact on the dollars invested. According to a recent study conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), ‘The Outlook for Data 2017,’ cross-channel measurement and attribution are still top priorities for brand marketers.”