I know a lot of people are a little creeped out by how targeted ads and content have become on the Internet. Some people simply do not like the idea of a computer knowing so much about them. Personally, I really believe, though, that targeted advertising is, ultimately, a good thing. It gets us the things we want and need faster, without having to sift through the muck of ads for things that we have no use for. It's just more convenient.
One company, personalization platform Traitify, wants to help make that kind of targeting even better, by zeroing in on each user's specific personality traits.
Traitify has just raised $4 million in Series A funding, it was announced on Tuesday. The round was led by Heritage Capital, Charles “Chip Morris, Thomas Hitchner and other individual investors. Traitify has now raised $8 million in total funding, from investors that also included Vince Talbert, Propel Baltimore Fund and TEDCO.
The company says that it will use the new money to bring more members to its 18 member team, to pursue new partners and to extend its API.
"We plan to use this capital to hire people who are passionate and talented. We will also use funds to attend conferences and trade shows at which we plan to educate developers about personality and how this data can change the way users experience applications," Derek Mercer, CEO of Traitify, told VatorNews.
Founded in 2011, the Baltimore-based Traitify uses image-based tests to help determine a person's personality traits. All they have to do is swipe through a series of “me/not me” images and the test will uncover their strengths and preferences, which can then be applied to a multitude of different uses, including match the right features, products or services to unique individuals.
So, for example, a user can take an assessment test and reveal their Career personality to employers and explore jobs matching their personality. Or they can reveal their General (Character) personality and/or Relationship personality, and use it for better matching on dating sites. It can also be used to help deliver more relevant content and ads to users.
"Understanding a user wants, needs and passions, is a challenging task confronted by companies of all sizes and industries. Without asking hundreds of questions or relying on data that is irrelevant, Traitify makes a user’s personality data accessible by simply having them respond “Me” or “Not Me” to a series of images," said Mercer.
"This scientifically backed data can deliver a more engaging experience, make smarter recommendations and even match users together."
Giving its customers the ability to understand their users and give them a personalized experience based upon their unique personality, helps both sides, as the personality data identifies the needs, wants and passions of the user without wasting time asking hundreds of questions. \
"True personalization like this allows our customers to better deliver content, experiences and products to their users while increasing revenue and retention," he said.
There are other traditional personality assessments out there, such as Myers-Briggs and Holland Themes, and a few new technology-based ones, like Good.co and VisualDNA, but Mercer said, "no other company offers a quick, easy and intuitive personality assessment solution that is accurate, mobile friendly and easily embeddable via API."
Traitify has been experiencing some great growth and traction with the launch of its API, and it now has close to 50 customers, including colleges/universities and governments, nationwide using its software.
"At Traitify, our philosophy is that personality is the most important and simultaneously most misunderstood element of who we are. We aim to change the way people live, love and play based on better understanding and use of personality."